Home > Archive >  2009 >  March >  25

Me, Amazon, Scoble

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Gosh it's almost as if I work for Amazon. How the heck did that happen. There was a long time I didn't like them, because of the 1-click patent. I was afraid they were going to be a big black hole in the middle of the net, where open ideas went to die. But they haven't seemed to be bullying people with the patent, and then an off-hand comment by Matt Mullenweg about how he was furnishing his whole life with Amazon got me to try them out and I was hooked.  Permalink to this paragraph

The thing I like best about shopping at Amazon are the user comments. They really are good. And I often base purchasing decisions on what the other users say. It got so bad that when I went shopping at Fry's for some sound equipment I fumbled around until I realized what I was missing was the advice of other shoppers. I did the unfair thing, listened to a bunch of stuff and then went home and bought what I liked and what the others liked, from Amazon. Permalink to this paragraph

Now onto Scoble. Permalink to this paragraph

I've been reading Scoble for a very long time, but he never wrote a post as insightful as the one he wrote about where Facebook is going. He says the goal of Facebook is to improve on the experience that Amazon provides (he didn't say it that way, but that's how I read it). Not only will I be able to rely on other users to tell me which products are good, but I'll also know what products my friends are buying and liking. Scoble's example was picking a sushi restaurant on University Ave in Palo Alto. I could find Scoble's favorite, and Mike Arrington's, and Steve Jobs's, etc. That would carry extra weight, if I knew who the people doing the recommending are, even though Amazon's reviews are generally so good, I can get by without knowing who the people are. Permalink to this paragraph

So this insight led me to wonder if Amazon, being the smart, ambitious, rich company that it is, has already figured this out and is lying in wait to pounce on Facebook, or maybe buy them if the price gets attractive. I can't imagine that they're not on top of this. Permalink to this paragraph

The point is this -- if you're not thinking of Amazon as a social networking company, you should. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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