Amazon Innovation

One of the many reasons I love Amazon.com is the regularity with which it experiments with new features on its book pages. It is literally a dynamic website, much more so than many other sites that actually offer more fresh content. For instance, Amazon has just introduced a nifty new treatment of its customer reviews: providing a little graph that breaks down all reviews by number of stars, with an accompanying right-hand column featuring the most current reviews in capsule form.

This book, for instance, has had 546 five-star reviews, 374 four-star reviews, 212 three-star reviews, 118 two-star reviews, and 90 one-star reviews as of this writing. This summarized data would make it a lot easier for someone who wanted to measure, say, various correlations between sales volumes and review ratings.

It is always fun poking around Amazon to see what they will come up with next. Not all of their ideas work — most of them, I am guessing, are abandoned in time — but I think they set a great example for everyone who uses or builds websites.


Karthik

I cannot see the graph you are talking about. Maybe it is a beta test for showing up on only some customers' accounts? Anyway, if it looks anything like this [newegg.com], then it is not some new Amazon "innovation".

jonathank

I'm more impressed by the iTunes Store's efforts but probably because they work better on me. So much for rigor. They send out emails about music now available from acts I've bought before. I heard about Dolores O'Riordan's solo album that way and bought it after clicking the link and listening to the previews. The iTunes version includes a track not on the CD (and it's really good). They sent me a pre-order option for The White Stripes Icky Thump and will email me when it is actually available. That one also includes an iTunes extra.

I compare this efficiency to the incessant emails offering me "discounts" or coupons that I have to find out are for 5% only when I get to the checkout. These turn me off because they aren't in any way targeted and are often misleading.

Josef Svenningsson

Ooops. It seems I had forgotten to rate your book, something which I normally don't forget to do.
It will be interesting to see in a day or so how the rating of the book changed because you wrote this post. My guess is a small but positive effect.

genghisjahn

There's an ongoing project to provide data from Amazon through RSS feeds at www.goondalf.com

Juggling Frogs

I'd love to see a per-reviewer version of this graph. Some reviewers only give 5 stars; some heavily weight their ratings toward 3 stars.

I'd be interested in a how-much-did-this-review-deviate-from-this-reviewer's-mean-rating widget. Or, maybe some aggregate item, such as how-much-did-this-overall-rating-deviate-from-the-contributing-reviewers'-mean-rating tool.

Karthik

I cannot see the graph you are talking about. Maybe it is a beta test for showing up on only some customers' accounts? Anyway, if it looks anything like this [newegg.com], then it is not some new Amazon "innovation".

jonathank

I'm more impressed by the iTunes Store's efforts but probably because they work better on me. So much for rigor. They send out emails about music now available from acts I've bought before. I heard about Dolores O'Riordan's solo album that way and bought it after clicking the link and listening to the previews. The iTunes version includes a track not on the CD (and it's really good). They sent me a pre-order option for The White Stripes Icky Thump and will email me when it is actually available. That one also includes an iTunes extra.

I compare this efficiency to the incessant emails offering me "discounts" or coupons that I have to find out are for 5% only when I get to the checkout. These turn me off because they aren't in any way targeted and are often misleading.

Josef Svenningsson

Ooops. It seems I had forgotten to rate your book, something which I normally don't forget to do.
It will be interesting to see in a day or so how the rating of the book changed because you wrote this post. My guess is a small but positive effect.

genghisjahn

There's an ongoing project to provide data from Amazon through RSS feeds at www.goondalf.com

Juggling Frogs

I'd love to see a per-reviewer version of this graph. Some reviewers only give 5 stars; some heavily weight their ratings toward 3 stars.

I'd be interested in a how-much-did-this-review-deviate-from-this-reviewer's-mean-rating widget. Or, maybe some aggregate item, such as how-much-did-this-overall-rating-deviate-from-the-contributing-reviewers'-mean-rating tool.

daataman

Interesting... this is what TOTNERS is also saying with positive trend for AMZN. http://totners.com/215/amazon-com-initiated-with-aa-ratings/