Saturday, November 26, 2005

Amazon adds product wikis, tagging

Amazon has added a "ProductWiki" to some product pages, following a move a couple weeks ago to test tagging of products.

For as long as I can remember (at least 1996), Amazon has allowed customers to review and comment on products on their site. These ProductWiki and tagging experiments seem to be attempting to build off the success of customer reviews by gathering additional user contributed content.

I think these experiments are pretty interesting, but I'm not sure these particular efforts are likely to bear fruit. Wikipedia fights off spam and crap by having a couple thousand dedicated volunteer editors who track recent changes closely and revert bad content changes quickly. Amazon will not have that for their ProductWikis. Tagging in Flickr works well because metadata isn't available for photos unless users provide it explicitly. Products already have metadata, including keywords extracted from the descriptions, so the value of tagging isn't as obvious.

Regardless, it's great to see this kind of experimentation from Amazon. From customer reviews to user pages to friends pages, Amazon was very early with community and social networking features. There's much opportunity here.

[Found on Findory]

No comments: