Tag Archives: Amazon

Hey Amazon, It’s Called a Library

12 Sep

Or, You can pry my free books from my cold dead fingers

Library by ellen forsyth

Photo credit to ellen forsyth

So, today I’m on LinkedIn and I see this as a “top headline in online media”: Amazon Working on a Netflix for Books.  You know, Amazon’s come up with this revolutionary idea: you can check books out and the return them and then get more books.  It’s gonna be big.  Um, hi, it’s called a library.

Except that actually, it’s a pretty sucky library.  According to Mashable:

“The details about the project are scarce, but it appears that the library would primarily contain older works with restrictions on how many books a user can access each month.”

So, it’s a library with only old books that limits how many I can take out – oh, and it charges me for the privilege?  Doesn’t really sound like a library that I would use, even if it were free.  (Okay, I lied, I’d use it, but I’d complain about it – a lot, probably on this blog.) Continue reading

Amazon, eBooks, and the demise of Borders and bookshop culture

18 Jul

BooksThe era of the big box bookstore is coming to an end and I, for one, am saddened by this.  Yes, I know they were big, bad corporate giants that came in and destroyed neighborhood bookstores and coffee shops, ending third places and stifling locally-owned businesses in many communities.  All that’s true – and awful.

But at this point, the closing of your local Borders isn’t likely to mean that a locally-owned bookstore is going to spring up in its place.  (Although I wish that would happen!)  It’s really just going to drive more business to Amazon (or iTunes).  Yes, I know they’re both big, bad corporations, so why should I care if people buy from Borders or Amazon?

Because I like bookstores – large and small.  I like browsing.  I like wandering the aisles and touching the books.  Picking them up and feeling their weight.  I like to pick an edition based on the way the pages feel in my hand.  For me, buying a book is a tactile experience.   Continue reading

An AppStore a Day Keeps the Lawyers… Involved?

23 Mar

Amazon and Apple are at again, hashing out trademarks and usage of terms that one considers generic and the other proprietary.  Amazon has launched an “AppStore”, which Apple seems to close to its “Apple App Store”.  According to Social Times, Apple has filed a lawsuit and is seeking damages from Amazon.

Towards the end of their article, Social Times asks:

Can the history of the term “app” be traced and attributed? How common is the term? Is “App” the new Kleenex- a brand which has become synonymous with an item? For all the users – who have no stake hold in the term – does anyone really care?

I’ve always been interested in what happens when a brand becomes synonymous with an entire product category, known as a colloquial brand.

I also found this list of The Top 100 Brands Synonymous with Their Product Category.  (Should that be “Their Product Categories”?)  I was surprised by a lot of them, including these:  Zipper, Popsicle, Ping Pong, Heroin, Dumpster, Dry Ice.  More can be found here.

Here’s what I always wonder: is this a good thing or a bad thing for a company?  It’s good because it means that their product is successful, the most successful and well known in its category.  But, it’s bad in that they lose (at least some) control of their brand.  Is this something that brand mangers strive for or fear?

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