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Amazon Innovation

One of the many reasons I love 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.