Michel Vuijlsteke's weblog

Tales of Drudgery & Boredom.

Tag: amazon

Links van 25 maart 2018 tot 15 mei 2018

Drupal takes on risky admin interface renewal to catch up with WordPress | Drupal Shell
It is sad to see that the gradual adoption plan was switched to chase down shiny technology, without good thought on the long term effects on the community. With the original monolithic model of Drupal, falling out of favour it no longer has the module moat it had to protect it will dry up. Soon there might be no particularly good reason to use Drupal, and it will be further entrenched in the Enterprise niche Acquia is chasing. If the brand won’t be too tarnished by security issues.

Yep, That $500 M from China to Trump Project Looks Like a Pretty Big Deal – Talking Points Memo
You probably saw the news yesterday that just days before President Trump tweeted that he was intent on saving that sanctions-busting Chinese telecommunications company, China had agreed to loan $500 million to a major Trump-backed development in Indonesia. These kinds of situations are now basically commonplace in the Trump Era. But it is important to look at them from a macro- and a micro-perspective. The details are quite complex in the latter case. We are still digging into them. But I wanted to give you a first sense of what we’re finding, because they make Trump’s connection to the operation and potential profits look considerably tighter than what I’d been led to expect yesterday from early reports.

Why I Love the GDPR: 10 Reasons – TeachPrivacy
In the United States, a common refrain about GDPR is that it is unreasonable, unworkable, an insane piece of legislation that doesn’t understand how the Internet works, and a dinosaur romping around in the Digital Age. But the GDPR isn’t designed to be followed as precisely as one would build a rocket ship. It’s an aspirational law.  Although perfect compliance isn’t likely, the practical goal of the GDPR is for organizations to try hard, to get as much of the way there as possible. The GDPR is the most profound privacy law of our generation.  Of course, it’s not perfect, but it has more packed into it than any other privacy law I’ve seen. The GDPR is quite majestic in its scope and ambition.  Rather than shy away from tough issues, rather than tiptoe cautiously, the GDPR tackles nearly everything. Here are 10 reasons why I love the GDPR

Waarom boycot Israël (BDS) een morele plicht is – DeWereldMorgen.be
Een recent rapport van een VN Commissie over de behandeling van het Palestijnse volk door Israël Staat concludeert dat “het beschikbare bewijsmateriaal buiten iedere redelijke twijfel aantoont dat Israël zich schuldig maakt aan … de misdaad van apartheid”. Civiele samenleving en burgers hebben daarbij als “een morele plicht” er bij middel van boycot (BDS) toe bij te dragen dat er een einde komt aan dat Israëlische apartheidsregime.

Doc Searls Weblog · GDPR will pop the adtech bubble
Adtech relies on misdirection. See, adtech looks like advertising, and is called advertising; but it’s really direct marketing, which is descended from junk mail and a cousin of spam. Because of that misdirection, brands think they’re placing ads in media, while the systems they hire are actually chasing eyeballs to anywhere. (Pro tip: if somebody says every ad needs to “perform,” or that the purpose of advertising is “to get the right message to the right person at the right time,” they’re actually talking about direct marketing, not advertising.)

A surprising bullying battleground: Senior centers – San Francisco Chronicle
Mensen zijn universeel altijd en overal klootzakken: “The unwanted were turned away from cafeteria tables. Fistfights broke out at karaoke. Dances became breeding grounds for gossip and cruelty. It became clear this place had a bullying problem on its hands. What many found surprising was that the perpetrators and victims alike were all senior citizens. MOST POPULAR A surprising bullying battleground: Senior centers Editorial: The Bay Area’s housing crisis has become an emergency Trump is more popular than Dems want to admit Practice wars shaped Kevin Durant, James Harden into MVP-type players SF’s legacy restaurants hang on amid changing tastes California motorists can get slammed twice in hit-and-run accidents Stephen Curry vs. Chris Paul: A rivalry renewed Nursing homes, senior centers and housing complexes for the elderly have introduced programs, training and policies aimed at curbing spates of bullying, an issue once thought the exclusive domain of the young.”

(703) Introducing Visual Studio Live Share – YouTube

Index of /L2/L2017
Unicode-voorstellen. Wonderlijk wijs.

Digital Photocopiers Loaded With Secrets – CBS News
Nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive – like the one on your personal computer – storing an image of every document copied, scanned, or emailed by the machine. In the process, it’s turned an office staple into a digital time-bomb packed with highly-personal or sensitive data. If you’re in the identity theft business it seems this would be a pot of gold. “The type of information we see on these machines with the social security numbers, birth certificates, bank records, income tax forms,” John Juntunen said, “that information would be very valuable.” Buffalo Reacts to CBS News Investigation

Troye Sivan Is a New Kind of Pop Star: Here, Queer and Used to It – The New York Times
The 22-year-old singer is climbing the charts while demonstrating how his sexual orientation is both part of his art and beside the point.

The shocking story of Israel’s disappeared babies | Israel News | Al Jazeera
This was a crime perpetrated against thousands of parents, who still don’t know the truth about their children’s fate.

Radio Garden Live
radio van over heel de wereld!

Pink Trombone

Fonts for Complex Data | News, Notes & Observations | Hoefler & Co.
Retail displays, packaged goods, financial reports and apps all present readers with a dizzying array of data. Here are a few ways to make quick work of their long lists, tiny annotations, and mighty stacks of numbers.

104-year-old David Goodall’s journey to Switzerland for voluntary euthanasia – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Dr David Goodall’s life has been one of teaching, learning and discovery. Now the 104-year-old academic has departed on the last journey he will ever make.

43-year-old Australian trapdoor spider was world’s oldest known spider – The Washington Post
This is the story of the oldest known spider in the world and the people who knew her. The details are compiled largely from research conducted by Barbara Main and Leanda Mason, who knew her best over nearly half a century.

Library Genesis: David Gerard – Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts
tl;dr “blockchain” anything is a boondoggle at best and horribly
damaging at worst, and you really don’t want to go near this actively
terrible rubbish.

How to Collaborate When You Don’t Have Consensus
When people have fundamental disagreements, they can’t articulate their mutual interests harmoniously. Getting them to agree isn’t a realistic option. Only a few choices are available. You can try to force the issue (and face the repercussions of a backlash); you can try to adapt to the unacceptable situation as it is; or you can try to exit from the situation altogether. If those paths aren’t feasible, only one alternative remains: to find a way to collaborate despite disagreement.

banzaipanda comments on Doctors/nurses/redditors, what has been your most gory, disgusting or worst medical experience?
He was performing surgery in the swamps of Dagobah, except the swamps had just come out of this woman’s ass and there was no Yoda.

The Meanest Things Vladimir Nabokov Said About Other Writers | Literary Hub
Vladimir Nabokov was an unusually opinionated man—particularly when it came to literature. His own, primarily—when asked about the function of his editor, he sniffed, “By ‘editor’ I suppose you mean proofreader”—but as a close second (what else could it be): everybody else’s. In interviews, he seemed to delight in airing his grievances about other writers’ work, especially when he considered them unfairly beloved by the public.

Why programmers are not paid in proportion to their productivity
The most productive programmers are orders of magnitude more productive than average programmers. But salaries usually fall within a fairly small range in any company. Even across the entire profession, salaries don’t vary that much. If some programmers are 10x more productive than others, why aren’t they paid 10x as much?

Peter Dedecker toch kandidaat op Gentse N-VA-lijst (Gent) – De Standaard
Humor. Dedecker, die eind vorig jaar het einde van zijn politieke loopbaan aankondigde, staat op de N-VA-lijst in Gent. Hij zal na de verkiezingen geen mandaat opnemen. De partij spreekt van een ‘frisse wind’ op de lijst.

“En dan nu keihard werken” | Gent | Regio | HLN
Integreren in een totaal nieuw land, in een totaal nieuwe cultuur. Het kan, en Abdo Khawas (28) is er het levende bewijs van. Amper twee jaar (!) nadat hij in ons land aankwam als vluchteling uit Gaza, heeft Abdo zijn eigen kapsalon, vlak bij de Heuvelpoort, waar hij zijn klanten in het Nederlands bedient. “En over een jaar of vijf ga ik weer psychologie studeren”, zegt hij.

The Way of Testivus – Unit Testing Wisdom From An Ancient Software Start-up
Some good advice on developer and unit testing, packaged as cryptic bits of ancient Eastern wisdom in the hope of getting your attention.

I miss Windows Phone – The Verge
I recently switched on an old Windows Phone to create a silly April Fools’ joke about returning to using it as my daily device, and then it hit me: I really miss Windows Phone.

Israel is the terrorist – Opinion – Israel News | Haaretz.com
That’s the reality there, and it’s one of state-sponsored terror, the State of Israel. Because what is land confiscation on a huge scale, what are restrictions on freedom of movement, and with it freedom of employment and commerce, home demolitions, the imposition of curfews and closures, the building of innumerable fences and walls and the deployment of military forces armed to the teeth, in the heart of a Palestinian civilian population, in order to protect an Israeli civilian population that settled among it by force – what are all these if not terror, in other words, a war against unarmed citizens?

Network of fortified towns indicates Amazon was once heavily populated | Ars Technica
Today we think of the Amazon as a pristine rainforest, sparsely populated by indigenous communities. But in records from the 1500s, Spanish colonizers describe a densely populated region, crisscrossed by canals and sunken roads and dotted with bustling, fortified towns. Unfortunately, fortification couldn’t protect the towns’ inhabitants against European diseases, which devastated South American indigenous populations and left the fortified villages abandoned.

“Future Language for Collaborative Design” (PUARL2016)

Pastor who starved toddler to death to exorcise demon gets 99 years in prison | Courts | Dallas News
Videos captured the hours-long resurrection ceremony Meza led after Benjamin died on March 22, 2015. In the video, the boy is frail, nothing but skin and bones. His clothes hang from his lifeless body.  Weeks before his death, Meza had ordered that food be withheld from Benjamin for 21 days because she believed he was possessed by the “demon of manipulation.”

Links van 15 april 2014 tot 20 april 2014

New Statesman | H G Wells: “It seems to me that I am more to the Left than you, Mr Stalin”
In 1934, H G Wells arrived in Moscow to meet Soviet writers interested in joining the international PEN Club, of which he was then president. While there, Stalin granted him an interview. His deferential conversation was criticised by J M Keynes and George Bernard Shaw, among others, in the New Statesman.

Stock photos that don’t suck — Design / UX — Medium
Finding great stock photos is a pain. You’re left with either low-res amateur photos, people wearing cheesy headsets, or photos that are out of budget for the project you’re working on. Below is an ongoing list (so bookmark it) of the best stock photo sites I’ve come across.

Amazon Smartphone Photos, Specs and Details Revealed: Exclusive Report | BGR
BGR gives the world an exclusive first look at the unannounced smartphone Amazon is set to debut in the coming months

Short Ribs Time and Temp – Recipe – ChefSteps
Creative possibilities are especially compelling aspects of sous vide cooking. The ability to cook ingredients for prolonged periods of time at carefully controlled temperatures can yield appealing textures that are impractical, or even impossible, to achieve using conventional cooking techniques. Throughout this course we'll explore these possibilities; below is a showcase of the range of textures that you can easily achieve by sous vide cooking a tough, but flavorful cut of meat like beef short rib.

Introduction to Huginn on Vimeo
Huginn is a open source system for building agents that observe the world and act on your behalf. This is an introductory screencast. Your agents are standing by!


Heh, ik had niet eens vanalles moeten doen om zo’n Paperwhite Kindle in de VS te halen: het ding komt gewoon eind deze maand ook in Europa uit!

Voor zover ik zie, is dat voorlopig de allerbeste optie om echt boeken mee te lezen die er te krijgen is op de markt: leesbaar in volle zonlicht en in het donker, een bibliotheek van hier tot voorbij Tokio, allerhande applicaties die er proper meer samenwerken, die machtig wijze integratie van Kindle-op-web met Kindle-op-computer met Kindle-op-telefoon en Kindle-op-tablet en Kindle-op-alles en Kindle-op-Kindle… yay!

Nog niet in België, neen. Wel in het Verenigd Koninkrijk, in Duitsland en in Frankrijk.  

De Vlaamse boekenwereld van uitgevers en boekenwinkels en bibliotheken en overheid is al lang aan het sjieken op “iets Vlaams met e-boeken”, maar voor zover ik het een paar jaar geleden doorhad, waren allerlei partijen vooral heel erg bang van allerlei. Bang van Google, van Apple, van Amazon. Bang van het internet, van het buitenland, van de boze boekenpiraten. Bang van technologie die “goed genoeg” is in plaats van perfect.

En zo, voor zover ik dat als buitenstaander hoor, lijkt het alsof er de afgelopen jaren niets bewoog op het e-boek-in-Vlaanderen-vlak. 

Waarschijnlijk ook daarom dat er geen Kindle in België te krijgen is: allemaal mensen bang van hun eigen schaduw.

Maar voor al wie niemand kent in de landen rond ons en zo de “niet voor België” policy van Amazon kan omzeilen: ik vermoed dat er volgende maand dus zeer hard verandering in komt: (1) zeer binnenkort begint Amazon Nederlandse boeken te verkopen [en dus ook e-boeken, hoop ik], (2) wat mij betreft is zo’n Paperwhite het ideale kerst/nieuwjaargeschenk, en (3) kijk eens wat ik daarnet las bij amazon.co.uk:

With an Amazon Prime membership, Kindle owners can choose from more than 200,000 books to borrow for free–as frequently as one book per month, with no due dates–including current and former top sellers in the Amazon.co.uk Kindle Store and all 7 Harry Potter books.

 Zoho: boeken uitlenen. Zou dat dan binnen een paar maand ook voor ons Vlamingen zijn? Indien ja: begin maar al heel bang te worden, boekenwinkels. 

En de volgende stap zijn écht goedkope tabletten, zodat al die dure kook- en reisboeken ook niet meer gedrukt moeten worden op glanzend papier. 

Ik wil een nieuwe Kindle maar ik mag hem niet kopen van Amazon

Ik lees veel op mijn Kindle. Gelijk, héél veel. Minder in de winter dan in de zomer, dat wel, omdat er wel een leeslamp op zit maar het is toch niet zo’n enorm gemak in het donker. 

Dan lees ik verder met Kindle op iPhone, wegens dat dat kleine lettertjes zijn en dat ik dan in bed met één oog kan lezen. 

Maar eigenlijk zou ik liever verder lezen op een Kindle. Om precies te zijn, op zo’n nieuwe Kindle Paperwhite (nu ook een link met mijn Amazon Associates-ID erin!):

Ja, ik wil daar geld voor betalen, zelfs al heb ik al een Kindle, en het vorige model van de Kindle, en het model dáárvoor. Comfortabel kunnen lezen op mijn Kindle in een donkere kamer, of zelfs helemaal in het donker, op een scherm dat ook in de zon leesbaar is: ja graag, en waar moet ik mijn geld naar smijten?

Welllll… as it turns out: nergens naartoe. Want de Kindle Paperwhite is niet te kopen in Europa. 

Verdomme! En ik wil er dus echt wel een, met de donkere winterdagen op komst en dat ik mezelf nog een verjaardagscadeau verschuldigd was en alles…

Leest er hier niemand mee die in de buurt van de VS moet zijn één dezer dagen, en die er eentje wil meenemen? Pretty please?

Over Kindle gesproken: gisteren zoals ik al zei deel twee van The Mongoliad (nog zo’n link!) gekocht, en kijk wat er vanmorgen in mijn brievenbus zat over mijn aankoop van het vorige deel:

Thank you for ordering “The Mongoliad Book One” for your Kindle. We’re writing to let you know that we’ve updated the Kindle edition with new content including “Sinner: A Prequel to the Mongoliad”, a map, and character illustrations.

You can get this new version by going to the Manage Your Kindle page. Find the book in your Kindle Library and click on the “update available” link next to the book’s title.

This book has undergone significant changes, and once the updated has downloaded, the previous version will be automatically replaced. (You will no longer be able to view any highlights, bookmarks, and notes that have been made in your current version and your furthest reading location will be lost.)

We hope you enjoy this updated version of “The Mongoliad: Book One”.

Zo wijs. Ik ben een grote fan van Amazon, ik. 

Links van 3 juni 2011 tot 4 juni 2011

Well, What’s the Matter? – The COMPLETE definitive Catwoman origin.
For Bruce Wayne, it took seeing his parents murdered in front of him; Jonathan Crane, a lifetime of ridicule and pain; Harley Quinn, all-consuming obsessive love. All the best heroes and villains in every medium, from literature to film to comic books, have traceable motivations for their behavior. It humanizes them and makes them easier for us, the audience, to understand and sympathize with.

For Selina, there was no one defining moment–at least, not in the way that there was for Bruce Wayne. Instead, it took numerous experiences, some positive and some negative, conspiring to strengthen her, both inside and out. A series of misfortunes, teachers, mistakes to learn from and some very lucky twists of fate to put Selina Kyle in the position for the stars to align just right for her to become the Feline Fatale we all know today.

Chromeography: chrome badges, emblems, logos on cars, cameras, appliances
In praise of the chrome logos and lettering affixed to vintage automobiles and electric appliances — those unsung metal emblems and badges that are overlooked, forgotten, damaged, lost to time or the dump.

Kurt Weidemann spreekt

Telehack: May the command line live forever

The human race is incurably idiotic

Phallic Symbols at Denver International Airport
I'm also known as the Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

kreayshawn — gucci gucci
Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada Basic bitches wear that shit so I don't even bother

Kindle typography
The Kindle MOBI format implements only a limited subset of HTML and provides no access to the underlying rendering algorithm, so currently we cannot save native ebooks on the device. However, the Kindle 3 ships with a WebKit-based browser, so we can use JavaScript and CSS to dynamically reflow and style web content on the device. This article outlines an approach to implement hyphenation & justification on the Kindle with support for “advanced” features like hanging punctuation and non-rectangular paragraph shapes. We first discuss the Knuth & Plass line breaking algorithm, then how to render the resulting lines using either the word-spacing property or the flexible box model.

Ninety gaffes in ninety years – Home News, UK – The Independent
From Papua New Guinea to Stoke-on-Trent, Prince Philip has left his mark around the world. As his 90th birthday looms, Hannah Ewan recalls the soundbites that could only have come from one man

danwebb.net – It’s About The Hashbangs
After quite a lot of thought and some attention to some of the issues that surround web apps that use hashbang URLs I’ve come to conclusion that it most definitely is about the hashbangs. This technique, on its own, is destructive to the web. The implementation is inappropriate, even as a temporary measure or as a downgrade experience.

E-sales to imprints: Amazon’s ambitious publishing plan
In a series of public moves, Amazon.com has signaled its determination to enter the book publishing business, a move with broad implications for the online retailer as well as the traditional publishing industry.

Links voor 7 april 2011

An open letter from Alain Badiou to Jean-Luc Nancy
Didn't you notice right from the start the palpable difference between what is happening in Libya and what is happening elsewhere? How in both Tunisia and Egypt we really did see massive popular gatherings, whereas in Libya there is nothing of the kind? An Arabist friend of mind has concentrated in the last few weeks on translating the placards, banners, posters and flags that were such a feature of the Tunisian and Egyptian demonstrations: he couldn't find a single example of these in Libya, not even in Benghazi. One very striking fact about the Libyan ‘rebels', which I'm surprised you didn't note, is that you don't see a single woman, whereas in Tunisia and Egypt women are very visible.

toppppp.com – 100 of Amazon’s best, highest-rated products
100 of Amazon's highest-rated products, hand-selected category by category

Mister Quickly’s Customer Reviews

Mister Quickly schrijft reviews op amazon.com. Woensdag schreef hij er twee, voor Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out en voor de Samsung HLT5087SAX 50″ Slim LED Engine 1080p DLP HDTV. Daarvoor was het geleden van 10 augustus 2007, de review van Mortal Kombat: A Novel:

Based upon the popular film Mortal Kombat, ‘Mortal Kombat: A Novel’ is beginning to be recognised as one of the classic Bildungsromans, standing rightfully alongside “To Kill the Mockingbird”, Thomas Mann’s “The Magic Mountain”, or even the Rob Reiner documentary “Stand By Me.” The story’s protagonist is Sub Zero, a sort of Wil Wheaton character we grow along with, his sparkling innocence complicated by his dark emotional past.

Generally the book is very faithful to the film, and what it lacks in the movies luscious visual textures it makes up for with Martin Delrio’s robust lyricism. In one episode of the book, Sub Zero is looking at Scorpion, whose leg he has just frozen “in a legwarmer of diamond butterflies”, while Scorpion “evacuates from the dungeon of his guts a powerful bellow.” Or another scene, Johnny Cage uppercuts Reptile and the action momentarily suspends in this delicate lull; a wind “enchanted with a fine herbed pungency from whisking through a sage patch” passes between Johnny Cage and Reptile, who is “barfing green poisonous syrup.”

I also found touching the comradery that develops between Lui Kang and Sub Zero. Whenever they made a “pinky swear” to keep a promise, my eyes would mist at the purity of their bond. I wish that we could all have such friends and such memories.

My only criticism is how artlessly Delrio handles the countless love scenes between Raiden and Sonja Blade, that they came off as very blunt and tasteless and even misogynous. “Raiden took the mewling Sonja, who he had little respect for” writes Delrio “and mounted her while grunting.” Again 40 pages later, “Raiden was disgusted with the cheap perfume Sonja wore as he had sex with her.” I mean, these are really crass compared with some of the subtler delicacies of Delrio’s prose.

5 stars in any case. This book is timeless… immortal kombat.

Magistraal. Abonneer u op de RSS feed.

Take that, Scoble

Robert Scoble en Shel Israel zijn al sinds jaar en dag op bijzonder onprofessionele wijze hun boek, Naked Conversations, aan het promoten.

Eind vorig jaar liep het al een eerste keer ernstig mis, toen ze dachten dat het wel zou lukken om zomaar zonder voorbereiding en onder de jetlag eventjes een presentatie uit hun mouw te schudden op Les Blogs. Ze hebben zich allebei publiekelijk verontschuldigd voor de slechte presentatie, en daarmee was voor hen, vermoed ik, de kous af.

Maar geen mens die eigenlijk fundamentele vragen stelt. Scoble is, om de één of andere reden de golden boy van het corporate bloggen. Never mind dat hij dat in mijn opinie—en ik kan toch niet de enige zijn?—bijzonder slecht doet: onprofessioneel, hyper-emotioneel, altijd reactief in plaats van proactief, zelden of nooit met nieuwe, laat staan interessante informatie, een eindeloze opvolging van dovemansgesprekken, excuses, emotionele opflakkeringen en dan weer intrekkingen.

De basispremisse van Scoble is, in ware Cluetrain-waar-heb-ik-dat-nóg-al-eens-gehoord-stijl (o, was dat al zeven jaar geleden?) dat alle bedrijven gebaat zijn bij weblogs, omdat ze zo conversaties met hun klanten opbouwen. Of zo.

Het werd eens tijd dat iemand daar “o ja, echt waar?” op zei.

Weblogs hebben hun plaats, jazeker. Ook in het bedrijfsleven. Maar niet overal. En niet op om het even welke wijze.

Amazon is enorm goed bezig, en Scoble en zijne maat niet.

Tijd verdorie om die mens op retraite te sturen. Scoble, read my lips: uw werk is corporate blogger zijn voor Microsoft, niet voor Scoble. En ook: weblogs zijn geen excuus voor kinderachtig gedrag. En ook: kweek wat olifantenvel. En ook… ah never mind.

Update: wie wil zien hoe ze uit de bocht gaan, en hoe de fanbois ze verdedigen—’t wordt nog grappig.

Update 2: Scobel heeft het dus écht niet door. Het is triestig op het beschamende af hoe hij—in mijn opinie toch—afgetroefd wordt in bijvoorbeeld de commentaren alhier. Werner van Amazon is vriendelijker en beschaafder dan bijzonder veel mensen zouden zijn, en ik vermoed dat de enige reden daarvoor is dat hij wél weet wanneer zich te gedragen en plein public.

O, en nog iets: Scoble en de zijnen weigeren iets onder ogen te zien als de schrijver van het commentaar anoniem is. Dat is een lovenswaardige policy, die ik ook tracht te handhaven overigens, in kleine groepen—als er “iemand” klaagt op het werk, dan wil ik ook weten wie die “iemand” is. Maar op een weblog en met firma’s als Amazon en Microsoft is dat niet houdbaar: niet iedereen kàn zomaar alles zeggen met naam en toenaam erbij. Het is dan ook niet omdat bijvoorbeeld deze reactie anoniem is, dat ze er geen rekening mee moeten houden:

I work at Amazon.

Lets think for a second about why you went to Amazon. You’ve got a book to pitch. The book has a thesis – that blogging helps businesses connect to customers and is a valuable activity. You came to elaborate on that message. Forgive us for being inquisitive and not immediately drinking the koolaid. Do you imagine us to be backward in some way? Unenlightened? You think we don’t know anything about the internet?

Amazon is a numbers driven company filled with ultra smart people. Supergeeks. Its a meritocracy. That means we don’t believe anything without hard data to back it up. Where’s the data? A bunch of anecdotes?

Suppose Amazon starts blogging en masse. What will we get? More sales? How much? 10%? 100%? Or is it loyalty? How much loyalty? What is the increase in liklihood that the customer’s next purchase will be from Amazon? Who should blog? Everyone? Some percentage? How much? Do you know? Have you set out to measure any of this? Or are you going on your gut?

Amazon opens new channels of communication with customers all the time. They are rigorously monitored for impact on customer experience and sales. If you want to convince an amazonian of anything – bring facts, studies, numbers, proof. If you don’t have them, expect to get what you got.

While you are at it, you could explain why customers want to talk to us more than our authors, sellers, and each other.

And don’t take it personally, this is the culture. We do the same to each other all the time. The one who has done the work and has the data wins. Geeks like that. Amazon is a company of geeks among geeks. Telling us we don’t “get it” is rude, childish, and solidifies our innate suspicion that you are a poser selling snake oil.

Dmad has it right. Where’s the data?


Hu, dat verbaast me.

Ik ben al klant bij Amazon van ergens vorige eeuw, zowel amazon.com als amazon.co.uk als amazon.de als amazon.fr, en op de vele (helaas voor mijn bankrekening, véle!) bestellingen is het nog maar een paar keer mis gelopen.

Eén keer kreeg ik een verkeerde bestelling. Mailtje naar Amazon: ik mocht houden wat ik ontvangen had en ze stuurden me meteen mijn bestelling per spoedkoerier op, zonder verzendingskosten. Helaas was de verkeerde bestelling een heel pakket boeken over beleggingen en beleggingstheorie, maar toch.

Een keer of twee heb ik een bestelling gekregen waar een boek of een DVD-doos beschadigd toegekomen was. Fotootje getrokken van de verpakking en het beschadigde boek: meteen, zonder discussie, een nieuw exemplaar opgestuurd.

En dat was het zowat.

Amazon staat tot nader order helemaal bovenaan mijn top tien goeie klantenservice.


I’m such a pushover. Ik heb maar één goed artikel nodig om zin te krijgen om de hele Bond-reeks op DVD te kopen.

Gggnnnnhhh…. must… not… press Buy Now button….

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