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Keywords:

  • Online Communities;
  • Online Ratings;
  • Language Use;
  • Opinion;
  • Text-Based

Review communities typically display contributions in list format, using participant feedback in determining presentation order. Given the volume of contributions, which are likely to be seen? While previous work has focused on content, we examine the relationship between communication tactics and prominence. We study three communities, comparing front-page reviews versus those on latter pages. We consider 3 types of devices: structural features, textual features, and persuasive writing. Structural features, such as profiles, convey information about authors. Textual properties, such as punctuation use, can make an impression on others. Rhetorical writing strategies are used by reviewers to convince readers of their opinions. When controlling for content, the most salient tactics distinguishing prominent reviews are textual properties and persuasive language.