Church of the Customer Blog« Amazon's customer collaboration, Pt. 2 | Main | ProductWiki mania »
November 24, 2005
Amazon's customer collaboration, Pt. 2
Amazon's ProductWiki feature is still finding its legs (and some people are unable to see the feature so it must be a random beta), but overall: A bold start toward allowing citizen marketing to flourish. Certainly, the feature is generating interest.
For those who are unable to see the feature, the simplified toolbar provides two formatting tools (bold, italic) and a linking tool as seen in the wiki I edited for Creating Customer Evangelists. The caveat: The link tool automatically creates a new page inside Amazon's network. In other words, it creates another Amazon ProductWiki. No outside linking allowed.
So, the tools are simple but the idea is big. That's why I'd like to see Amazon:
* Create a WikiCentral page that highlights products whose wikis have been updated on daily or weekly basis, by category type, frequency of editing or by editors' picks.
* Require Real Name authentication to edit a wiki and help maintain standards of authenticity. This should help reduce incidents of unscrupulous marketers sabotaging competitors' wikis. When I added content to the "Creating Customer Evangelists" entry, the wiki automatically noted for all to see that I had edited it.
There are hundreds of doomsday scenarios anyone can imagine with an open content-creation system like this, especially for a publicly held company like Amazon. This is the type of feature that makes corporate lawyers up their Prilosec dosage.
But clearly Amazon has been paying close attention to the rapid growth of Wikipedia and its very fast adoption rate. Wikipedia isn't perfect and I do not imagine Amazon's ProductWiki will be, either. But I think it has a chance to become the Wikipedia of the world's products.
Other blogs that reference Amazon's customer collaboration, Pt. 2:
» assorted sweets: 2005.11.25 from angiemckaig.com
Photo Retouch GalleryBecause I keep losing the link to this - her site ALSO has some amazing Photoshop tutorials, but I love the gallery because it shows what you *can* do if you put your mind to learning it... Million Dollar MobileYeah, you're readin... [Read More]
» Amazon with wiki and tagging from Web Jungle
Amazon continues to set standards in e-commerce. Now they have introduced a wiki for the product descriptions. So users cannot only rate and comment the products, they can also add detail to the product features. More info and some screenshots can be ... [Read More]
I'm curious as to how much ProductWiki will differ from customer reviews with things so subjective as music. Nonetheless this seems like a huge step towards mass adoption of the wiki concept in more of a commercial environment. Congratulations Amazon!
Very very very cool. As an author, I can finally be able to add content to the editorial description myself, without having to rely on Amazon to make updates...if and when they decide to do so.
Gregory, I would hope the info won't be "review" content as much as additional product info. For my book, I can give the product support web site URL. For a CD, people could discuss the included software, or make mention of hidden features. DVDs could discuss the details of finding the Easter Eggs - mentioning that they're cool is part of the review, whereas mentioning exactly how to find them is wiki content.
Anyway, thanks for the great find Ben!
I am able to see the ProductWikis from work, but not from home, when logged in to the same Amazon.com account. So the Wiki feature must be tied to a cookie or IP or something and not to an account. This is really annoying, since I've already found useful information through the ProductWikis but can only access it from work.
Thanks for posting about Amazon. I do some development myself with their e-commerce api and even started messing around with probably the first ever Amazon Associates Video Podcast http://www.youtube.com/user/PuReWebDev