Amazon Introduces Plog, We Are Intrigued

February 1st, 2006 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Okay, we were more than a little surprised to see that Phillip Jennings was prominently featured on our Amazon homepage. Also purses, iPod cases, and books (the books were at the bottom, which is rather sad, but maybe it’s one of those things that moves around whenever we reload). But let’s back up — we had messages from Phillip Jennings waiting for us when we went to Amazon to make a random purchase or do research*. You may remember him as the author of the brilliant Nam-A-Rama; we just thought it was odd that he was on the Amazon homepage.

But we are nothing if not observant** and the logic behind this illogical event was made clear: new feature! If we’re following the explanation (below so you can fact check us, though reading ten more words in this paragraph will tell you that we’ve just gone ahead and made stuff up), authors of interest to us (we’re guessing this feature will be driven off of our purchase history, which could lead to some unusual reading when we hit Amazon) will write stuff. If said stuff matches our areas of interest (see also: purchasing history), then the posts will be on our homepage. This makes sense and makes us wonder if Amazon thinks we will visit more often than every day. The Prime service is quite addictive. Also we continue our dream of building a house made entirely of books.

Your Plog is a personalized web log that appears on your customer home page. Every person’s Plog is different (hence the name) and just like a blog, your Plog is sorted in reverse chronological order. Each post also gives you the opportunity to provide feedback to the sender as to whether you liked the post or not. This feedback loop means your Plog becomes even more relevant and interesting over time. Your Plog will appear if you are logged into our web site and is visible only to you.

This is actually a cool, interesting idea, though we are not sure why our Plog (are we supposed to do a trademark or registered thingy here? Amazon doesn’t, but they’re Amazon) will become more interesting, etc over time. We are also curious about how authors we haven’t purchased will factor into this, but maybe it’s one of those things we’ll need to check out to see how it works. Which means we may need to activate the long-term attention span.***

So, you, authors, go forth and fill up our Plog. We want to see how the crazy mix of stuff we buy will translate into a concept that will make said Plog more relevant and interesting. Amazon URL below, in case you need it.

Update: Publisher’s Lunch tries a tactic we’ve considered and tracks down actual details. We were reasonably correct on our guess about the program works, but PL offers a word of warning to program participants:

Anyone with a book for sale on Amazon can enroll now. But everyone considering this program (and even those who have already posted) should, however, note carefully this element of the mandatory Terms and Conditions: “You hereby grant Amazon a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual and irrevocable right and license throughout the world in any media to: (1) use, reproduce, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display all of your Works.” In other words, Amazon can do whatever they want with any of your written posts, for free and without further permission. Which for many people will pretty much kill the program, or limit it to insignificant posts.

Sigh, you’d think Amazon would get it by now, no?

* – We were distracted and now cannot recall why we went there in the first place. Hopefully it wasn’t important.

** – Yes, we know, we said we’d quit lying. We’ll start tomorrow.

*** – Last used in 1994.

File Under: Marketing For Introverts