Was watching TV the other night and i saw an ad from Time Warner about the Expo Channel which allows users to contribute product review on virtually anything. TM has done some relatively innovative things in terms of channels from the DIY story we wrote last year to their good advertising. Now comes along ExpoTV, (which is apparently on every major cable network as well as Youtube and the rest of the netizens), which is another great manifestation of all the consumer-generated groups out there.
"Expo TV is a new social shopping destination with thousands of consumer-generated reviews and product demonstrations all available in full-motion video." The site features reviews that are labeled as "short and un-biased" review products that members love or hate. Also useful is the addition to the reviews contributed by our community, the site also provides consumers with informative ‘how to buy’ videos and product demonstration videos contributed by "advertising partners". Ahhh knew there was a catch. The site's aim is really to make consumers better shoppers and it just may work. The site pays you $5 for each review it selects (you can submit up to 50 at a time) and you get paid-per-click as well.
From viewing a few reviews i can say that they are quite helpful when purchasing products that you have no expertise and would like a little visual review. I myself paid more attention to someone pointing out the features, than i did to a review on Amazon, so they might be onto something here. All categories are searchable, so this creates quite a listable archive of reviews. This is Consumer Reports 2.0, run by the masses. Why go to Best Buy to get a slanted take on a camera for some bloke's commission? Current is the most similar brand i can think that lives here, and it has done quite well with establishing opinion pieces on the screen. What really makes this work is the synergy of consumers, experts, and advertisers.
Look for more things of this nature in the future, only with more niche topics and even "lessons" from experts (available for purchase no doubt)