Amazon's Market Conversation
Tuesday, February 29, 2000 by Dave Winer.
After yesterday's piece, the net is working its magic on the Amazon patent situation.
Last night's post from Tim O'Reilly got SlashDot moving; and this morning Dale Dougherty, also of O'Reilly, posted a short list of "controversial" patents that relate to the Internet industry.
From Jeffrey Wilkinson. "You might suggest that people write letters. Boycotts are more effective when you write and tell them that you're doing it and exactly why. Just cutting off your links and buying without telling them explicitly is less effective."
I totally agree!
Then I was cc'd by Faisal Jawdat on an email in response to an Amazon promotional mailing.
For full effect, a screen shot of the email:
I like how he says he'll come back when Amazon is finished with patents. A message saying "you've lost me forever" might be emotionally satisfying, but probably gets your message into the bit bucket, and might get your name removed from their database. And in reality, many of us *will* come back to Amazon when the pressure is off. Why?
Because Amazon has a deserved reputation for being responsive to its customers. I get promotional emails often, and Amazon does it better than anyone else. Their database knows what I like. They sign the emails with the name of a person, an editor or product manager, sometimes even Jeff Bezos himself! I like that because it's personal (even though I know it's a script that wrote the email). Presumably there's a real person reading the responses.
Like a letter to your Congressman, this is the most precise place to register your point of view. It should be the place that Amazon wants to hear from you. So think, and then say what you think, next time you get an email from Amazon.
PS: Assume there's a real person reading the email, and please treat that person with respect. They almost certainly played no role in Amazon's policy in re patents.