I’m not talking FaceBook and Twitter.  I’m avoiding them for different reasons – the first because “be careful, little eyes, what you see””, and the second because I figure my life should interact about once a day with the outside world (through this blog), and that interaction should take more than 140 characters.  I see enormous value in each of them, but not for me.

The social media I’m talking about is the practice of adding comments to everything.  Epinions is a site built around rating things.  The comments are well-written and useful.  Same for technology with NewEgg – and the manufacturers occasionally comment back.  The wisdom of crowds shows when some memory has gotten over 2600 reviews and the product receives five stars.  Amazon‘s comments are also beneficial – last night I downloaded another 28 albums (!) and it was useful to read the comments.

And then there’s Radio Shack.

The Shack is not typically known for being a leading-edge technology place.  They’re known for being where to get a quarter-inch doomaflotzie connected up with that old thingamabob you got at the garage sale.

I was hoping to find a cheap, good microphone for church.  I found a possibility and went to check the reviews.  Please note that these reviews are probably copyright Radio Shack and/or the individual contributors.  I claim Fair Use under the copyright laws.

The first guy ends up saying “good for the price” – a reasonable comment.  The second guy starts out with “As a forensic paranormal researcher” – yow.  Not gonna put a ton of trust into what he says.

A bit down the page comes this useful comment:

I can say that the pickup is clean, clear and loud. It’s a basic mic, durably constructed

He surrounds it with his use of the mike, where he’s headed with it in the future, and how well he expects it to stand up.  This guy is a contributor.

And then there’s the next one.  In full, it says

I needed the right microphone and this is exactly what i needed.. great for any use. If you are looking to buy this its worth it.

Total semantic content: zero.  “That’s the kind of thing you’d like if you like that kind of thing.”  It would have been better to say “I bought it and I’m happy with it”.

Maybe I’m just having a cranky day.  But still . . .