There's been a rash of news involving (NASDAQ:AMZN) this week. And it's not just about investors being excited to hear what Amazon has to say on Thursday, when it reports earnings. Instead, the online retailer seems to be drumming up all kinds of enthusiasm by introducing new ways to attract users to its site. The latest one is a plan to allow authors to house their blogs on Amazon's site, in an effort to give readers (read: Amazon customers) another reason to be engaged enough to buy some goods. This initiative will be called Amazon Connect.

What about this rash of news? Well, earlier today, longtime Fool Rick Munarriz talked about Amazon's plans to get into the online travel biz, and contributor Rich Smith rolled out the Foolish Forecast ahead of Amazon's earnings, which are scheduled for Thursday after market close. A few days ago, I mulled over rumors that Amazon will be opening a video store. It's a veritable Amazon blitz, apparently.

At any rate, in theory, I like this newest idea. Blogging's big these days, of course, and there's something pretty cool about stopping by favorite authors' blogs and getting an idea of what they're all about. What they like or dislike. What they ate for breakfast. The public generally doesn't have much exposure to authors, at least compared with other kinds of celebrities. And much like its recent talk-show idea, this gives Amazon another channel of content -- which, of course, has the added advantage that it could easily help drum up sales.

While one could see that this is a giant step for literature -- an important component of Amazon's sales -- who knows how it will go! I know I was excited about what sounded like the literary ramifications of Amazon's Shorts idea, under which it planned to sell "short stories" for $0.49 a piece. It could have been a revolution in a very difficult industry, but when I looked at it recently, I thought the content wasn't very compelling at all. Instead of tons of pieces of short literature from authors with some degree of renown or reputation, I saw what looked like a lot of essays and self-help pieces with just a scattering of fiction and better-known writers. Of course, it's never too late to improve the area, but it certainly seemed pretty unexciting and even a little bit bewildering.

That said, there are still major possibilities for the Amazon Connect idea. Can Amazon do for authors what News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) MySpace has done for some musicians? There are plenty of independent places for weblog writers, even places like Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Blogger. Plus, it wouldn't surprise me to see many authors turn up their noses at being so closely associated with one bookseller in such a way -- although Amazon has said that 1,000 writers have signed up. And if no well-known authors show up to scribble, well, that's a problem.

I can't say I haven't liked the spirit with which Amazon has been trying to enhance its strengths and therefore increase its abilities to sell products. I most certainly do appreciate the logic in giving people a more community-based, content-centric experience on the site. For now, though, the most compelling content for many investors is going to be Amazon's earnings announcement on Thursday. is a longtime Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. To find out what other companies David and Tom Gardner have recommended since April 2002, help yourself to a 30-day free trial.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.