Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cheater Post - New Amazon Beta Site

This is entitled a cheater post because it isn't what I had originally. I HAD written a rather witty (please, let me indulge myself) entry about cheating on NaNo (I'm all about cheating today ... I had two - count 'em two - Milky Ways today) and the moral perils involved when no one is really keeping track. But the Internet ate the post and I was too tired to come up with anything half as interesting. So instead, we get a cheater post. 

A few days ago Dear Author broke the news to me that Amazon has a new beta site for shopping. Basically the site is meant to look and feel like your typical brick and mortar store. Like when you walk in the door and the first thing you see are the display tables with books on them. That's my favorite moment about walking into a bookstore. I head right to those tables to see what's new. In any case, Amazon has this site now. 

So far I have heard mixed responses but the majority of people seem to think the site is too unwieldy to work. It really does bog down your laptop if you aren't using a top of the line model and takes a insane amount of time to load. But that's not my main problem with the site. My main objection is the content. The site features new books, new music, best selling movies and games etc. You navigate using the arrow pad on your keyboard. Sounds great. Except ... the selection. There is not one romance novel listed in the new book section for the entire month of October and the music is pretty well saturated with what you expect to find in any Borders. Which is to say, not at Best Buy. Although they did save this customer from getting really upset by at least listing Kenny Chesney's new album. 

OK, that said, I get it. I mean if this is really meant to look like a table display at your favorite chain bookstore, these are the items you would find. But a little diversity never hurt anyone. And in my favorite store, there is a table for mass paperback titles. Not so here. My other little problem is that you can't do any type of search and the music and books are broken out by week, not month and week. So if I want to search for books released in September, I have to click through 4 weeks worth of books, instead of it all being in one place. 

ALL THAT SAID ... I kind of like it. The concept is intriguing and hey, we can all use another way to waste time at work. Provided of course the site doesn't kill your work computer. (Could you imagine having to explain that one to the help desk guys? I mean, at least you weren't looking at porn or something but it's clear you weren't working.) In any case, I am sure Amazon will continue to update the site and hopefully it will get better. 

What do you think?

No comments: