Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Update on #amazonfail

It was a glitch! No, it was a hacker! No, it was policy! No, it was censorship! No, it was...all of these and none of these.

In any event, it looks like the 57,310 books who were stripped of their sales rankings have been restored. Here are some links for you:

-Amazon restores rankings for gay-themed books from USAToday

-Heather Corinna: Amazon's de-ranking is not just a glitch (Guardian UK)

-Amazon worker details company's error (MediaBistro)

-For those that (like me) enjoy their AmazonFail with a little bit of social-network gossip and a lot of bite, read On Amazon Failure, Meta-Trolls, and Bantown's roundup of AmazonFail links

adding: Amazonfail: How Metadata and Sex Broke the Amazon Book Search from InfoToday

Error or not, glitch or not, discrimination or not, it was a scary thing to witness, because all of this shows the power that metadata has on Amazon's book sales. The part of me that wanted to be a cataloger in library school found all of this fascinating from a search-results perspective. AmazonGate also gives librarians a really simple explanation as to why library catalog search results are often so different from Amazon search results. (Hey, we have to take the bad with the good, right?)

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