is great - so I was surprised when I thought of a few missing items from their site.

I keep several wishlists there that I use for gift lists as well as reading lists. My main use the 181 item list of books that I want to read.

I use amazon because they have nearly everything (and anything that they don't have, they let you add anyway).

So, when I'm looking at books, a few items that are missing:

  • Let me "watch" certain authors. Some authors I am likely interested in more than just one of their books.
  • Better exploring: think of authors like tags. If I like Author A, then show me related Author B (has been published in the same series once, has collaborated on books, or something else).
    • Their primitive "user who bought this also bought..." is a good start but it's so dated, more can be done.
    • For example, get away from "other users" and instead put together my buying & reading habits (even if I didn't buy the book from you) together with my current search/mood
  • Let me create a personal library of books that I like, have read, etc.
    • They weakly let you add something to a list and then mark as "bought" but it's hard and clunky. Make that easy so that you can have more information about me - encourage me to do it. Make it easy & make it worthwhile.
  • Better book reviews. I don't like what Amazon has for reviews. Partially because they look at them as "products" in general, not books, but I can't then "borrow" my review onto other websites - and a variety of issues.
  • Get more user-centric: let people see my lists, books, tags, reviews, recently wishlisted, etc. (all opt-in, of course) - right now lists are separated from review and separated from wishlists
  • Make wishlists work better - having more than 1 is good, but they need to interact better.
    • I shouldn't be able to add a book to more than one list (or, if I can, let me know and make it really obvious [think "tags" not "lists" or GMail "labels" not Outlook "folders" - I can have a book in multiple lists / tags but it's clear that it is "tagged" that way"])
    • Maybe just move to tags directly and kill lists - or allow me to tag & bookmark things and then let me create shopping lists for family from certain tags: but the bookmarking is for me
  • Where's my Amazon badge? Like a blog badge: books recently read, review, bought, wishedfor, etc.
  • Where are more samples? Some books have them, others don't. Since the PDFs that they sell are already digital, why not give me snippet samples?
    • And don't just give them to me while browsing, but when a new book comes out that I am likely to like, email me (again, opt-in) with a PDF preview of it.
    • Or maybe to encourage pre-order.
  • For heaven's sake, where the cheap Kindle? (I love the idea and wish that I had one)
    • And where's the Apple designed Kindle? I like the idea of the Kindle but it's ugly.
    • Or, where's the "KindleReader" software for my PC? (And iPhone)
  • Why can't I buy just chapters of books? Why do I have to buy the whole book? (think iTunes & single song tracks instead of entire albums)
  • Discoverable users: with delicious, I can follow tags to find other users with similar interests. Why not with books?
    • Make other users find-able through shared books, authors, topics, etc.
    • Have online book groups - for sharing books. Like "Listmania!" but centered around multiple people (instead of the single list creator)
  • Useful & semantic links. currently:
    They've done an OK job with having a readable text in the middle and I realize that Amazon has a gazillion items, but it still seems possible to have the following url for the above: (and removing all the cruft at the end) Or maybe simply: - (I'd even allow for this link to point at the most popular book [hardcover?] and then have links to Kindle & Paperback versions

Sunday, October 05, 2008, 12:00 AM

tagged: amazon, books, collaborativefiltering, customerinteraction, feeds, kindle, notifications, permissionmarketing, productrecommendations, productreviews, products, socialweb, subscriptions, tagging, websearching

series: Missing Items (3 other posts in this series)