01. 03. 2007
Wize product ranking
Now that I no longer have a cell phone with a camera, I'm in the market for a really small digital camera that I can carry around in my purse. I figure if I start looking now, I'll be able to make a decision about which one to buy by March. It'll take me that long to read all the reviews of the cameras within my price range and then to comparison shop for the best price. Why? Because I'm a person of extremes -- I either have to walk into a store and impulsively and blindly pick something off the shelf in the interest of getting on with my life, or I have to give in to my OCD tendency and read every expert and customer review out there. There's just no middle ground for me.
But I'm happy to let someone else do that work for me if it's done right. A new shopping engine, Wize, is designed to shortcut the process for people like me who want thorough research prior to purchasing. Wize search results pull from 900,000 product reviews from experts and consumers; a company press release states that it constantly searches the web for the "most informative product reviews." Products are then ranked from zero to 100 using the "Wise Rank" system, which, based on the illustration above, presumably blends in some way expert reviews with consumer reviews and "buzz" on the web about the particular product. Their claim is that "Wize rankings are completely objective because the system's proprietary algorithm distills so many ratings and reviews that it's virtually impossible to manipulate." I'm not sure what this means, but in the case of my digital camera search, Wize's objective system excluded any reviews in blogs. Here's what it gave me:
My search turned up consumer and expert reviews from sites like CNET, Amazon.com, Circuit City, and a few other major merchant sites, plus some from publications like PCWorld. But, like I said, nothing from Engadget, Gizmodo or any other gadget blog. Same thing with other electronics searches. Under "buzz," it says something like this: "more reviews in the last 60 days than 71% of the 602 ranked digital cameras." So I take it that "buzz" means volume of reviews generated (at least within the areas searched by Wize).
So, after this, I'm a little closer to deciding which digital camera to buy, but not entirely satisfied that the search results from Wize accurately replicate what I'd find in my own search, which would definitely include a number of high-profile gadget blogs. But I'd definitely go to Wize in the future as a starting point.