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November 22, 2005

Wikizon

Rob Hof

Amazon.com doesn't blab about it much, but it clearly gets the Web 2.0 Power of Us participatory thing. For years, it has had customer book reviews, customer-produced product lists called Listmania, product photo uploads, and something called Purchase Circles, which indicate what products are popular in various locations and companies. (UPDATE: Oops, forgot two other new participatory activities still in beta: customer discussions and tagging.)

Now, it has wikis, those editable Web sites made most famous by the online reference source Wikipedia. ProductWikis are pages--seemingly on most every product already!--that customers can edit. Clearly, from the explanation, it's adhering to Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View ethic, leaving opinions to customer reviews.

Here's what else I find interesting about ProductWikis, from Amazon's explanation:

You can view how a particular Wiki entry has changed over time, to see who has contributed what and when, and you can subscribe to be notified by email of any future updates to Wikis you are interested in. ... A list of Wikis you have contributed to appears on your Your Amazon Home and Profile pages.

So Amazon's gradually allowing you, along with your Wish List, your purchases, your clickstream, and, if you sell anything on Amazon, how good your reputation is--to build up a pretty detailed database of what you like (or don't) and what's important to you. I don't know what Amazon will do with this--fortunately, it seems to have a pretty light touch with how it uses what it knows about you--or what it will allow us to do with all this data. But as it grows, it could become a pretty powerful profile.

Here's hoping Amazon will give us the means to control access to that profile and, ideally, use it throughout the Web to get what we really want, and avoid what we don't.

Tip of the hat to Ben McConnell at Church of the Customer blog, who apparently saw these first.

11:43 PM

Amazon.com, Power of Us, Web 2.0, Wiki, Wikipedia

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Wikizon:

? Amazon Launches Product Wiki from Mashable*

Interesting - Amazon has debuted Product Wikis, allowing customers to edit product descriptions. This is one step beyond the consumer reviews they’re so famous for. The Church of the Customer writes:

Amazon has launched ProductWiki, a route... [Read More]

Tracked on November 23, 2005 07:49 AM

ProductWiki x2 from Jonathan Nolen

Two new wiki stories over the Thanksgiving weekend: First, a new service called ProductWiki has launched. It's a GPL'd product information and review wiki. I haven't been able to dig up much background information, but the two of the three founders are... [Read More]

Tracked on November 26, 2005 12:53 PM

Behold the power of Wikizon: Amazon adds ProductWiki from Science Library Pad

While you were blinking, Amazon.com added ProductWikiA list of Wikis you have contributed to appears on your Your Amazon Home and Profile pages. What Should You Put In A Wiki? Think of a Wiki as an encyclopedia entry that everyone [Read More]

Tracked on November 26, 2005 04:11 PM

Amazon.com lets users write Wikis from inedibleink.com

I was doing my Black Friday shopping at Amazon.com on Cyber Monday

when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

but a ‘product Wiki’ interface and something that rhymes with reindeer…

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Tracked on November 28, 2005 06:47 PM

Wikizon: Wikis en Amazon from Denken Über

Ya habían incluído tags y ahora dan un paso más y agregan Wikis en sus productos (ej: Coldplay) para que uno pueda sumar datos a todos los productos.

Está muy bien pensado, incluso en el ejemplo que dan donde explican que uno puede escribir una d... [Read More]

Tracked on November 29, 2005 10:10 PM

Amazon Yanks Wiki Power from harvard.free.culture

Whoa! In what looks like a short lived web 2.0 experiment apparently gone awry, Amazon.com has axed it’s wiki’s. Or at least that’s what I’m guessing because they don’t have the common sense to announce what they’r... [Read More]

Tracked on December 16, 2005 01:55 AM

Unlike Wikipedia though, I bet they don't license their gathered material under a copyleft license that would allow people to reuse their

contributions without needing Amazon's permission.

Posted by: AC at November 23, 2005 08:54 AM

Seems like a natural evolution from user reviews... to full user engagement in product descriptions and updates... and probably all kinds of conversations about the products.

Everybody sees immediately Amazon gathering rich customer profiles... for all kinds of clever marketing purposes.

I see however a huge amount of user generated content exposed directly to the search engines... achieving the best possible matching of search (intentions) with product information... through the original (unmediated)words of the customers themselves. No need for any marketing analysis, segmentations, targeting, advertising... nothing. It will work by itself.

Posted by: Emil Sotirov at November 25, 2005 06:20 PM

Individuals' control of their preferences is what we all want and should require. We should be looking for a 'usercentric' not a 'vendorcentric' model to express and transact our preferences.

Posted by: bruce at November 26, 2005 08:49 AM

As long as Amazon doesn't allow anonymous contributions, and people's wikichanges can be peer-rated in a way that is made public, both so people don't come in to do destructive edits w/o consequences, then this is a good idea.

Posted by: Steve Magruder at November 26, 2005 11:22 AM

This idea sounds a lot like wikidevices.org - but this wiki is only for electronics.

Posted by: WikiDevices at February 11, 2006 04:27 PM


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