Thursday, April 26, 2012
This Thing Called Fiverr Where You Can Pay For Book Reviews
I read about Fiverr in a few places and decided to check it out. It's a web site where people advertise services, and are willing to do anything from take off their shirts and do video messages, to write book reviews for authors. And they are willing to do this for five bucks. Hence the name Fiverr. It's even mentioned now at Urban Dictionary.
This guy will review your web site and offer his design opinions for five bucks. This young woman will dance around in a hula hoop and tell you whatever you want to hear for five bucks. And this guy will record a message video for you shirtless for a fiverr. Frankly, I'd be willing to find out what he'd do for a Ben Franklin, but I won't go there in this post.
There are categories on Fiverr that range from Social Marketing to Writing to Travel. In the Social Marketing section, SHE'S willing to "create a video positively reviewing your site or business for $5." She's even willing to admit, in writing, "Reviews are all fabricated."
In the Writing section, I saw a lot of ads where services are offered for editing and proofreading. One will translate from Dutch to English, another will translate from English to Bulgarian, and one will even make any football argument you want him to make...all for five bucks each. Some will write resumes and some will write articles on any topic you want. In the writing section, most of what I saw at a glance were harmless. I honestly didn't see many willing to write fake book reviews, but I'm sure I would find them if I dug deeper. I would imagine if the young woman above is willing to fake a review for a business she'd be willing to do it for a book. And I'd bet the hula hoop girl would do the same...with her hula hoop.
Overall, it looks like a quirky web site, along the lines of a trimmed down Craigslist with a circus/sideshow appeal. Most of what I saw looked like fun and it wasn't something I would take seriously. And I certainly wouldn't hire anyone to write a review for anything I wrote or published, not on Fiverr or anywhere. Web sites like these, taken in the right context, can be wonderful. I love the flying trapeze. But used in the wrong way, they can be just as harmful.
I am curious about one thing. Though I'd never pay anyone to write a fake review for me, nor would I trust someone who would be willing to do this for me for any amount of money, I am thinking about contacting the cute little guy who is willing to say anything shirtless. I'm wondering if he'd be willing to read the first few pages of a book I recently had released without his shirt.
In any event, check out Fiverr and see what I'm talking about. Some of the ads are so interesting you can get lost there for hours.