The AmazonFail debacle

Posted by Otis Chandler on April 13, 2009
A quick visit to Twitter last night brought to my attention that something was going wrong with Amazon. If you haven't heard, apparently 57,000 books on Amazon.com were made unsearchable (and unranked), mostly in the Gay & Lesbian and Erotica categories. Amazon has now released a statement saying that it was a mistake and the books were being brought back.

What impressed me was the speed Twitter and blogs were able to get Amazon to realize there was a problem and react. There were thousands of posts on Twitter and #amazonfail is a top trending term. This is impressive, and is a great example of the masses using social software to cause positive change in the world. This would not have happened 10 years ago.

To be fair I kind of believe Amazon - they would not have intentionally delisted so many books. I could believe that, as they say, they just accidentally merged their porn and sexuality/erotica categories. Either way, it's a big flaw that something like that could occur, and a PR nightmare.

The fun even resulted in a thread from concerned Goodreads members and a short-lived group.

But just to be clear: our goal at Goodreads is to allow members to rate, review, and catalog any book in existence - not just books available for sale at major booksellers like Amazon. Goodreads now has nearly 6 million books in its catalog, many of which are not available on Amazon. And we intend to keep it that way!

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl You need to remove that errant apostrophe in the second to last sentence. Thanks, Otis!


message 2: by Karen (new)

Karen I'm sold on my Kindle. I have the original. You're right, you can't throw it on your towel and take a dip in the sea, but really, is it that hard to turn it off when the plane takes off and then again when it lands? I do not know one Kindle user that doesn't have stacks and stacks of books all over the surfaces they call their own. It isn't a replacement, it's an add-on.


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