Wednesday News: New Lisbeth Salander book, value of negative reviews, black characters in soaps, and crowdfunding for One Direction
“Everyone thinks there was some grand scheme,” she told AFP just last week, “but no, he had no plan for the first three books and when he started writing the fourth one, it was spontaneous. He still didn’t have a plan.”
And Gabrielsson hasn’t pulled punches, even calling Lagercrantz a “completely idiotic choice” to continue the series. “They say heroes are supposed to live forever. That’s a load of crap, this is about money,” she said. “It’s about a publishing house that needs money, [and] a writer who doesn’t have anything to write so he copies someone else.” –NPR
Also, I think using the word “bad” interchangeably with “negative” in regard to reviews clouds the issue, because it basically equates negative with bad. To me, a “bad” review is more likely one that is poorly constructed, unsupported with specifics, or otherwise insufficient as a review, whereas a negative review is about the reviewer’s response to the item reviewed.
And certain bad reviews can be a boon for sales. A bad review that criticizes a computer for having “too many features” could be seen by people who are more proficient with computers as a positive recommendation. A review about the food at a restaurant being “too low-brow” can encourage customers who want to be casual.
In fact, the recent study showed that businesses could actually use this information to their advantage. After showing a group of volunteers charts that showed the distribution of ratings in a review system, the researchers found that the volunteers were likely to ignore bad reviews if they thought that the reviews reflected merely the taste of the reviewer, rather than the quality of the product. By “proactively” marketing their product as something that is subject to taste — even if it’s just taste in the packaging of the product — rather than grounded in quality, companies can steer consumers into disregarding bad reviews. –i09
But another big reason Y&R was beloved in my family was its black characters, who flourished in the 80s and 90s: They began as background figures, but slowly evolved into pillars of their fictional community. Born the year The Cosby Showpremiered, I grew up watching 227, Amen, Family Matters, and A Different World not knowing how hard it was to integrate TV; for me, black folks were already there. There was a point in my childhood when I knew Drucilla, Olivia, Neil, Nathan, and Mamie, Y&R’s powerhouse stable of 90s black characters, better than some of my own cousins.
So it’s interesting to see primetime television and streaming services like Netflix being heralded for ushering in a new age of black television, as if we were never allowed to be ourselves onscreen before. But daytime, before primetime, provided valuable space for black characters to be layered—and for viewers, black and otherwise, to appreciate their complexity. Every time I see these new-school characters, I remind myself of where I’ve seen them before. Well before Annalise Keating of How to Get Away With Murder was a tough, black woman lawyer with a complicated interracial marriage, there was Jessica Griffin on As the World Turns, an attorney who faced scrutiny before marrying her white fiance, Duncan. It wasn’t all that shocking when Mary Jane Paul on BET’s Being Mary Jane stole her boyfriend’s sperm if you’d already seen Virginia Harrison carrying around semen from a sperm bank–with a turkey baster!–to impregnate one of her rivals on Sunset Beach. –The Atlantic
Despite the, uh, youthful enthusiasm behind a campaign like this, it actually raises some interesting issues around what a music act like One Direction is actually worth. BBC did an analysis of the group’s value, which includes their brand and the intellectual property associated with the brand and their music. It might make an interesting comparison to authors and brands and how the value of those brands might be assessed beyond the actual creative product. –Buzzfeed