Posted by Morten Blaabjerg, May 13th, 2008 in Kaplak on the web
We’ve applied now for becoming an Amazon.com Associate site, which is one type of income stream for Kaplak in our current phase. I wanted to test one of the Amazon widgets here. This one creates contextual links, i.e. figures out what the content around it is about, and lists products which should be somewhat in accordance with what we’re writing about.
I’m quoting a piece by Yochai Benkler in order to create a little more context for the widget :
As economic policy, allowing yesterday’s winners to dictate the terms of tomorrow’s economic competition would be disastrous. As social policy, missing an opportunity to enrich democracy, freedom, and justice in our society while maintaining or even enhancing our productivity would be unforgivable. (The Wealth of Networks, p. 28)
Erm… this didn’t seem to work very well. This is what happens when you do experiments in complete public. Let’s try this instead :
That was better, but the “hovering” doesn’t seem to work… Will do more experiments in the following time. Please stay tuned, and support us by buying these great books :-)
Tags : amazon, Amazon associates, test
Posted by Morten Blaabjerg, January 15th, 2008 in Entrepreneurship
I found this email in my mailbox today and thought I’d share it, as Amazon‘s latest move is an interesting one to note in relation to the Kaplak project.
Amazon.com has been around since the very beginnings of the web, pioneering online mail order business, with all that this entails. Amazon also owns Alexa, which indexes and provides information on global website traffic, ranking the most visited websites in the world. As early as 1996, the company launched their own affiliate marketing program on the web, where participants earn as much as 10% for providing links to Amazon products on their website. Late last year Amazon launched their own online music store (for now available in the US only), and now comes WebStore. To quote the email in plain text:
WebStore by Amazon gives you a branded e-commerce site backed by the support, selection and expertise of Amazon. You can be confident that your WebStore is going to be up when your customers come clicking. Better yet, WebStore is easy to set up and comes with a number of great marketing features so you can start selling in minutes!
It has been comparatively easy to set up and run one’s own online business for some time, with several strong open source solutions around, osCommerce being a prime contender. What’s new in Amazons Webstore is making it a lot easier, and additionally giving users the opportunity to use Amazons payments and recommendations systems. Great move! I can’t believe they didn’t do it sooner. Amazon’s price tag is not so great however, even though it may include reducing parts of the “hazzle” of running your own webshop. It excludes everyone who has not already established a business model, i.e. effectively most on the slimmer end of the ‘long tail’, which means that Amazon loses out on a lot of long tail business. Still, it’s a great move, which no doubt will be embraced by lots of medium-sized to smaller niche-oriented businesses.
Read more here. And here’s an example of a webshop using Amazon WebStore.
Tags : affiliate marketing, alexa, amazon, business, long tail, open source, osCommerce, webstore
Posted by Morten Blaabjerg, January 1st, 2008 in Identify challenges
Please enjoy this recent video with Chris Anderson, introducing the ideas of his forthcoming book FREE: The past and future of a radical price, at Nokia World 2007 in Amsterdam :
Thanks for the tip to Guy Kawasaki. You can find the video in a slightly better quality here (where you may be better able to pick out Anderson’s slides).
I venture to say, that the ideas of Anderson’s next book at a first glance seem a lot less radical than those of his first (The Long Tail (2006)). By giving something away for free, which is abundant, you can sell something else, which is scarce. This is not a new business model, but just one, which can help create interesting and astonishing things, when used cleverly in combination with the internet. According to Anderson, technology have opened this model up to a wide range of industries – this is what makes it interesting. Nokia and the rest of the mobile phone industry can give away their phones, because there’s money to be made on talk rates and services connected to the phones.
Anderson’s model on the scarcities of the economy on the internet seems, however, too simplistic. He divides these into four broad categories : time, money, attention and reputation, in which the attention and reputation (hyperlinks + PageRank) converts into traffic and money to be earned on advertisments. True, this is the ‘conversion mechanism’ used by Google and others today. But I’m not sure I buy that attention and reputation are really scarce ressources, independently of the technological architectures, which shape attention and reputation on the internet now or in the future.
The attention span of any individual may be limited, but then we may be attentive towards very different things. This is a central point of Anderson’s first book. And reputation may simply, also according to The Long Tail, be a question of technological architecture, of ‘bringing customers down the tail’, as Anderson puts it, in the way Amazon recommends titles ‘other users also bought’. Attention and reputation on the internet are artificial constructs. Our current architectures make something more visibile to someone, than something else. This is only a problem, in so far, that the someone wants the something else before the something.
Tags : amazon, attention, Chris Anderson, free, Guy Kawasaki, long tail, nokia, PageRank, reputation, understand premises