My decision to join Epinions was motivated significantly by ideology. Simply put, I was sold that it was better to make decisions predicated on the collective wisdom of multiple trusted contributors than on the guidance of any single product reviewer. Further, very few product reviewers have my unique tastes, so I loved the idea that, through Epinions, I could find a credible author who shared my idiosyncratic interests rather than relying on the generic lowest-common-denominator advice of the typical product reviewer.
Thus, I felt a little odd buying the book Frommer’s Israel to help with my Israel trip. Not only was I going to rely on a single author for many important decisions, but I was paying $24 for that privilege. However, international travel can be complicated, and I must confess that I felt pretty overwhelmed by my Israel trip. The free Internet resources just weren’t getting it done for me. I needed comprehensive, accurate and current information, and finding that information from the Internet was daunting at best.
It turns out that the book was very helpful. It was packed with good stuff that helped me make smart choices and avoid wasting my time. It was also portable, which was a big help when I was offline. Finally, I’m sure I saved more than the book’s cost through its money-saving tips. It turns out that even in this era of a million viewpoints available for free on the Internet, there still can be value to dead-trees guides by a single author.