The old saying “everyone’s a critic” is so fitting in the context of today’s online review/comment/social media-driven world that it’s hard to remember a time when the only way to learn about new products was through advertising, published critics, or word-of-mouth from trusted friends and family.
While it may be tempting to point to trends like famous chefs speaking out against amateur review sites such as Yelp, or big media companies like the Popular Science and the Chicago Sun-Times doing away with comments sections as evidence that we’ve become oversaturated with input from the common consumer, the backlash shows just how much we rely on crowd-sourced reviews and product feedback. But where does this leave the much-maligned professional critic—the person who is trained, experienced, and usually paid to evaluate and tell us what products to buy or not buy?
There is something to be said for the value of having a reputable, established source of information like a critic or blogger to give you the low-down on a potential purchase, but on the flipside, there is also great value in unbiased, honest, and relatable consumer reviews. Both sources do the job in different ways, so we want to know: when it comes down to it, who do you trust more? And does it vary depending on what you are buying?
Take our poll below, leave comments with your thoughts, and check back in a couple of weeks for the results.