A Day in the Life

A day in my life. Thoughts on leadership, management, startups, technology, software, concurrent development, etc... Basically the stuff I think about from 10am to 6pm.

5/10/2006

Amazon: Plogs, blogs, and things I want...

I was just bouncing through my feeds and ablog recommended “Stumbling on Happiness” by Dan Gilbert. I wanted to know a little more about the book so I went to Amazon to find it and read what reviewers had to say. And there on my Amazon home page is this thing called a Plog. It looks like an aggregation of blog posts by authors whose books I’ve bought. This is interesting. I’m not sure how interesting, but I’ll give it a chance.

But I’m reminded of all the excitement a few months ago when Robert Scoble and Shel Israel went to Amazon to talk about why Amazon should blog. Here are some posts:

From Robert Scoble’s blog:

A little big of a dustup about our Amazon talk
Much ado about blogging (Scoble, you didn’t answer the question)

From Naked Conversation blog:

Three Seattle Talks

From Werner Vogel’s blog (Amazon CTO):

Naked Answers

I’ve always loved Amazon’s approach to community building and I make heavy use of the 1-Click button. They have always made it easy for me to choose books and make a purchase. I love that and I’m a loyal customer. And my initial take was that I’m okay if Amazon doesn’t want to have an official company blog. Vogel blogs and as a technologist that interests me far more than some generic Amazon blog.

After these exchanges I just assumed that Amazon saw no value in blogging and then today I got my first look at a Plog. It looks like a Plog is a way for authors, whose books Amazon knows I own, can distribute blog posts to their readers. Authors must have at least one book available from Amazon and join AmazonConnect. The idea is certainly interesting in that Amazon is once again showing me a little love by letting me know they’re thinking of me. Whether this service will interest me in the long-term depends on how interesting the author’s blog posts are. I think just because someone can write an interesting book doesn’t mean that they will be interesting everyday. It will take a little time for me to decide whether I like Plogs or not.

But in light of what happened between the author’s of “Naked Conversations” and Mr. Vogel, I can’t help but wonder if Mr. Vogel was leading them. As CTO he had to know that this service was in development. Mr. Vogel stated in his post that he was trying to expand their thinking.

“I wanted them abandon their fuzzy group hug approach, and counter me with hard arguments why they were right and I was wrong.”


My guess is that Mr. Vogel had already put a great deal of thought into where blogging fit into Amazon’s business model and that the results are Plogs.

By the way the book (“Stumbling on Happiness”) looks interesting and I’ve added it to my Wish List.

And if anyone from Amazon reads this post here are some things you can add to make it easier for me to buy things:

  • Lots of Sci-Fi/Fantasy fiction comes in series. Make it easy for me to know which books are in the series. You can do this by making a list, in the correct order, and with the purchase links. Also, I want a button that let’s me buy the series, this will take me to a page that lists all the titles, and let’s me unselect the ones I don’t want. I might read the first book in a series and want to buy the rest. (The hunting and searching isn’t fun for me. And remember, it’s not just fiction that comes in series or groups.)

  • I want to know when new books, in series that I like, are available. I want to sign up for emails that let me know when these new books will be available and I want to be able to preorder. I do get these sometimes but I don’t have any way to directly tell you what I’m interested in. I want that ability.


  • And that concludes my Amazon rant for the day....

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Links to this post:

    Create a Link

    << Home