The authorities in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana initially did not arrest Ronald Gasser, the 54-year-old man who shot and killed former NFL running back Joe McKnight last week. Gasser has since been arrested for manslaughter. Sheriff Newell Normand, whose press conference from Friday seemed unreasonably defensive and unnecessarily combative, took it to the next level on…
Initally discovered posted on Reddit of all places.
What is the Early Reviewer Program?
The Early Reviewer Program encourages customers who have already purchased a product to share their authentic experience about that product, regardless of whether it is a 1-star or 5-star review. Amazon shoppers depend on reviews to learn more about products, and this program helps to acquire early reviews on products that have few or no reviews, helping shoppers make smarter buying decisions. Customers who have purchased a product participating in the Early Reviewer Program may be asked to write a review and those customers who submit a review within the offer period will receive a small reward (e.g. a $1-$3 Amazon.com Gift Card) for helping future shoppers.
1. Can I trust these reviews?
Yes. We are not giving free products or discounts to these reviewers. We only ask customers who have already purchased the product to share their authentic experience, regardless of whether it is a 1-star or 5-star review. This program is not limited to elite reviewers – we want to hear from all of our customers as long as they have no history of abusive or dishonest reviews.
2. How are reviewers selected for this program?
We want authentic reviews, and we want them from all of our customers, not just a select few. We select at random from all customers who have purchased products participating in this program, as long as they have no history of abusive or dishonest reviews and meet our eligibility criteria. We do not disclose at the time of purchase whether a product is participating in the program because we want to hear from customers who have authentically chosen to buy that product without any knowledge of a future reward. Not all products are participating in this program and not all buyers of participating products will receive reward offers to write a review. We want this program to generate enough reviews to help shoppers make smarter buying decisions; this is not a rewards program intended to encourage purchases. Amazon employees, participating sellers and their friends and family are not eligible to participate in this program.
3. How are reviews rewarded.
Reviewers will receive a small reward (e.g., a $1-$3 Amazon.com Gift Card) after they have submitted an authentic review within the offer period which meets our community guidelines. This small reward is given to thank reviewers for sharing their authentic experience, regardless of whether it is a 1-star or 5-star review. The nature of the review does not affect the reward or the chance of getting future rewards.
4. How will I know if a product has a review from Early Reviewer Program?
Early Reviewer Program reviews are identified with an orange badge that reads “Early Reviewer Rewards”.
5. Can sellers influence these reviews or reviewers participating in this program?
No. Sellers can select products to participate in this program but they do not have any influence over which customers are selected to receive the reward offers or the content of the customer reviews. Sellers are also prohibited from communicating with customers about their reviews. Amazon does not modify or remove reviews from the Early Reviewer Program, as long as they comply with our community guidelines.
OK, Amazon’s has a long haul ahead of it trying to get all these incentivized reviews under control, so I’ll never fault them for trying- despite their complicity and complacency with it. But is anyone else thinking this is another cobblestone on that Road to Hell?
Word’s going around that EC will be shutting its doors on Dec 31, 2016.
Nothing official’s been posted on their site or FB page, but many authors are already klatching about it on social media. In typical EC fashion, it’s being said that they/she (Jaid Black/Tina Engler) are trying to hold hostage the revision of author’s rights in lieu of waiving any claims to outstanding royalties due.
Sadly, neither of these developments came as a surprise to anyone.
(reblogged from Marketingland.com)
One of Amazon’s most appealing features is the unbiased reviews provided to members. Unfortunately, it turns out that some sellers have taken it upon themselves to feed fake reviews to their customers-to-be. This wouldn’t be a prudent idea. Amazon is (and has been) suing those sellers that are buying positive reviews.
Amazon has previously sued to stop websites that sell fake Amazon reviews, along with individuals offering to write fake reviews. This latest batch of lawsuits is against the companies that buy fake reviews for their products.
A story from TechCrunch this week reports that three new lawsuits were brought against sellers where the fake reviews made up 30 percent to 45 percent of the overall reviews. According to TechCrunch, the defendants are Michael Abbara of California, Kurt Bauer of Pennsylvania and a Chinese company called CCBetter Direct.
We reached out to Amazon for comment and received the following in regard to these cases:
While we cannot comment on active litigation, we can share that since the beginning of 2015, we have sued over 1,000 defendants who offered to post fake reviews for payment. We are constantly monitoring and will take action against abusive sellers by suspending and closing their accounts and by taking further legal action. Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation. Lawsuits are only one piece of the puzzle. We are working hard on technologies that allow us to detect and take enforcement action against perpetrators while also preventing fake reviews from ever surfacing. As always, it is important for customers to know that these remain a very small fraction of the reviews on Amazon and we introduced a review ranking system so that the most recent, helpful reviews appear first. The vast majority of reviews on Amazon are authentic, helping millions of customers make informed buying decisions every day.
The rules in this type of a case are fairly straightforward. Amazon has sellers agree to the following:
You may not intentionally manipulate your products’ rankings, including by offering an excessive number of free or discounted products, in exchange for a review. Review solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer compensation are prohibited.
Furthermore, when sellers choose to break selling policies, they may find themselves without much recourse. The seller policies make it clear that any disputes or claims will be resolved by binding arbitration and won’t go to court and that each party waives their right to a trial.
So sellers take heed, if you want a good review, make sure your product/service earns it. To make sure that you are adhering to Amazon’s rules, read the full Participation Agreement in its entirety.
(reblogged from Nicholas Rossis)
With April 23 marking the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, few will remember that his lasting fame almost did not happen. A brilliant post by the New York Times explains how that came about.
Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616 on his 52nd birthday. A celebrated writer and actor who had performed for Queen Elizabeth and King James, he wrote approximately 39 plays and composed five long poems and 154 sonnets. However, by the time of his death, he had retired and was considered past his prime.
By the 1620s, his plays were no longer being performed in theaters. On the day he died, no one — not even Shakespeare himself — believed that his works would last, that he was a genius or that future generations would hail his writings.
He hadn’t even published his plays — during his lifetime they were considered ephemeral amusements, not serious literature. Half of them had never been published in any form and the rest had appeared only in unauthorized, pirated versions that corrupted his original language.
Two gold memorial rings
Enter John Heminges and Henry Condell, two of Shakespeare’s friends, fellow actors, and shareholders in the King’s Men theatrical company. In his will, he left them money to buy gold memorial rings to remember him. By about 1620, they conceived a better way to honor him — one that would make them the two most unsung heroes in the history of English literature. They would do what Shakespeare had never done for himself — publish a complete, definitive collection of his plays.
Heminges and Condell had up to six types of sources available to them: Shakespeare’s original, handwritten drafts; manuscript “prompt books” copied from the drafts; fragment “sides” used by the actors and containing only the lines for their individual parts; printed quartos — cheap paperbound booklets — that published unauthorized and often wildly inaccurate versions of half the plays; after-the-fact memorial reconstructions by actors who had performed in the plays and later repeated their lines to a scribe hired by Heminges and Condell; and the editors’ own personal memories.
My sister, Trina, writer and music editor for High Voltage, gathered herself amidst her grief and took to her keyboard to do homage to one of the towering influences in both our lives.
Because even after calling her to commiserate over the bad news, frankly, I couldn’t. And big thanks to her BFF, Timothy (Hodge Podge), for the extra kick in the butt.
(reblogged from High Voltage Magazine)
“Writing’s not your job: it’s what you do.” Timothy said over the phone.
“How am I supposed to write when I can’t even see?” I half-ass jokingly replied while I struggled through the heavy veil of tears that would not stop welling up. You see he, like a few others, had called out of concern after it was confirmed that Prince Rogers Nelson had died. Christopher Tracy. The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. Joey Coco. Skipper. Alexander Nevermind. Symbol.
His name was Prince and he was funky. And he was 57.
Part of me felt some journalistic obligation to take the importance of this particular artist’s existence – a man I’d never met – and form them into coherent words but I was struggling. Too soon. Too much. Plus, I couldn’t see. And I knew that everybody and their grandmother would be at their keyboards writing what would surely be the DEFINITIVE tribute or memorial compared to my noise in the echo chamber. But Tim thought otherwise. And my brother, John (also a writer), suggested that even if it’s not made public, it might be cathartic. Okay.
By the time Tim had called I’d been refusing to look at any text messages, let alone answer any calls, but when his name appeared on the screen it felt like 1983 all over again. He’s been many things to me over the years: classmate, friend, ex-boyfriend, fellow service member (his Marine Corps to my Army), person I’d lost contact with only to reconnect. And he was there during those formative Prince years during high school.
“You’re the girl who turned me on to Prince and I remember thinking, “This girl is crazy!’” he laughed, on the phone. “Only to go ‘This dude’s a fucking genius. I like this!’” I could almost see his face saying that. Now it was 1983 all over again.
Yes, Prince’s career defining movie and its soundtrack, Purple Rain, came out in 1984. But a mere three years earlier I’d discovered Controversy and – like a good little music fan – I back peddled my way from Dirty Mind (1980) to Prince (1979) to his very first and singularly impressive album, 1978’s For You. The very first song and title track, alone, is a STUNNING feat of a cappella harmonization. Every single instrument, vocal, handclap, finger snap, you name it that is heard on every of that album’s nine songs belonged to Prince. And he was only 19 or 20 years old. Between albums For You and Controversy, I grooved to funky songs of devotion (“Just As Long As We’re Together” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover”). But there were also songs about incest and oral sex (“Sister” and “Head”), songs about a lover on the down low like “Private Joy” (FUN FACT: that tune went on to be covered by LaToya Jackson. Not kidding.) and all mixed with finding his socio-political footing (“Ronnie Talk To Russia”). Words were strung together to form lyrics the likes of which I’d never heard before and soul, rock, blues, pop, jazz, and R&B were all having sex together and making extraordinary music babies. By the time Prince’s behemoth double album, 1999, rolled around in 1982: holy shit, the mind was blown.
From Deadspin: Former pro wrestling star Joanie “Chyna” Laurer was found dead in her home today, according to her manager. She was 45 years old. Her official Twitter and Facebook accounts both confirmed the news: “It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero. Joanie […] […]
Mikaila Ulmer’s Lemonade Gets Million Dollar Contract From Whole Foods ABC’s hit series Shank Tank has had a slew of entrepreneurs enter the competition seeking to raise funds for their businesses but one young lady recently entered the tank to change the game! Have you ever tasted a lemonade with flaxseeds?? According to Vibe reports,…
(reblogged from Bossip)
Independent Panel Says Race Played A Role In Flint Water Crisis
Authorities have concluded that race and money were behind the poisoning of a major American city. According to NY Times, an independent panel shows that the poor were ignored by the racist government.
An independent panel has concluded that disregard for the concerns of poor and minority people contributed to the government’s slow response to complaints from residents of Flint, Mich., about the foul and discolored water that was making them sick, determining that the crisis “is a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction and environmental injustice.”
The panel, which was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in October, when he first urged Flint’s nearly 100,000 residents to stop drinking the city’s tap water, laid blame for the water problems at the feet of government employees on every level.
It also validated complaints long argued by many Flint residents but largely dismissed by Mr. Snyder and others: that race and poverty contributed to the often scornful reactions to their complaints.
“Flint residents, who are majority black or African-American and among the most impoverished of any metropolitan area in the United States, did not enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as that provided to other communities,” the report concluded.
In an interview after the report’s release, Ken Sikkema, a panel member and former state legislator, said the panel sought to raise a general alarm about the role of race and income, and to highlight inequities that may emerge in environmental responses.
Are you really surprised?