The Amazon

Amazon.com is undoubtedly a great resource in that it makes available information on a seemingly limitless number of products close to instantaneously. A physical store could not practically match the volume of inventory that Amazon provides from sources globally.

Going back to materials we covered in the beginning of the semester, I would like to analyze Amazon.com for the way in which it provides information and help harbor interconnections between literary topics, authors, musical genres etc. I want to consider both the ways in which grouping is positive or negative. It would be interesting to see the degree to which Amazon favors larger corporations such as record labels or publishers.

I plan on doing a lot of searches on a variety of products, looking also for more obscure titles, in analyzing the website. My goal is to divine the degree to which this is a harmless resource or a manipulative one that in effect mainstreams the information that people receive on books, music and the like

I can definitely see the connections to the long tail, of course, but are there other texts that we've read (or that are coming up) that you imagine might help shed some light on your research question? I'll look forward to seeing where your research takes you...

So what exactly are you trying to find/show?? I'm confused on what the actual thesis is.

I think as of now, your proposal is too broad and it needs to target something more specific. Such as comparing different tactics other competitors use and seeing how or why their approach may be better/worse.

Like I don't undestand how you can measure how hurtful a search engine is. I guess it would be interesting to find out though.

are you doing the critical or creative project? what are the ways in which you are going to structure the paper?

I think a negative association IS possible given search terms in this way: If I'm looking through movies and I find myself looking at Jesus Christ Vampire Slayer, any movies that Amazon associates with such a terrible movie I will write off as terrible. Given this possibility however, I can see that a negative association may be a very subjective thing to prove, so perhaps altering the terms, or making them more specific will help clear up your thoughts.

Your project sounds good, I think you should definitely consider an opposing argument while writing your paper though. Although it may be viewed as bad that Amazon favors coorporations or certain labels, because since Amazon is a large coorporation too, inevitably due to product research, it would only make sense for them to have/promote the more mainstream books.

A somewhat tangential and side topic that is nonetheless interesting is the difference people experience between visiting Amazon and buying a book electronically, or even better yet buying an electronic book, and the traditional store shopping for a hard back. The substance and physical being of a book has a greater effect on one's reading and knowledge of the book than one might think, all one has to do is go back to old William Blake volumes to notice that.