Hmm, I think I might be becoming an Amazon.com
It's been clear for a while now that Amazon is well aware of some of the most important trends on the Internet, most notably reining its large customer base's collective intelligence. It has woven new features into its site, such as tagging, discussion, plogs, and ProductWikis, alongside related features it has long provided, like user ratings, recommendations, and reviews.
The Long Tail Effect (a term popularized by Wired magazine's Chris Anderson, who has penned a book on the subject that is due out in a month) is alive and well, and it's long been a major boon to Amazon. Companies like Amazon and Netflix
At any rate, I was impressed with Digital Locker's evolution into Your Media Library. (A few months ago I posed the idea that the Digital Locker might be Amazon's secret weapon.) Not only can you pick up digital content there (I purchased a digital article, which was available within seconds), but you can also view all your historical purchases through Amazon and rate them, tag them, review them, and otherwise log your experience.
When I examined Amazon's Digital Locker in the past, I knew it was meant to be a repository for digital content like Amazon Shorts. I talked to an Amazon spokesman today, and he explained that Your Media Library is indeed an upgraded version of Digital Locker; the new and improved version was launched in May in conjunction with Amazon Upgrade, which allows customers to purchase reduced-price digital copies of books when they buy full-priced hard copies.
The reorganized site underlined an interesting element: It might become an engine through which all your purchases might be tracked for posterity and ultimately, for community intelligence. (Your ratings, tags, reviews, and so forth can be made publicly available by changing your account settings.)
Some people have criticized Amazon for lacking in innovation lately (not to mention blowing off profit margins and coughing up too much for technology), but I'm starting to wonder if there's a lot more going on than meets the eye. It seems to me that the pieces are really starting to come together, and Amazon's coming up with some interesting ways to drive increased sales from its large customer base and push high-margin digital content sales too. People have underestimated Amazon before, and it wouldn't be the first time this e-commerce giant had the last laugh.
Amazon.com, eBay, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. To find out other companies that David and Tom Gardner have recommended to subscribers, click here for a 30-day free trial.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.