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msilverstar

three more things about amazonfail

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Apr. 12th, 2009 | 08:59 pm
mood: morose

  1. Please don't call Amazon customer support, today, at least. It's Easter Sunday, (as the BBC puts it, "the most important festival of the Christian religion). The poor schmucks stuck on the phones KNOW about amazonfail and they can't do a damn thing about it.

  2. Googlebombing is fun: enough bloggers and such link to a certain page with the same text, and it shows up in the Google (Yahoo/Live/whatever) search for that term. Link to the smartbitches redefinition of Amazon Rank, and it will be is first in the search results. We've done it as of 3 AM GMT April 12th:-)

  3. Colossally stupid technical/editorial mistakes do happen, and this may well be one. I don't think that Amazon did this on purpose, exactly. I am sure that their sales ranking rules are convoluted, and change hourly, because people try to game the system and get their books higher in the lists. So. Someone somewhere equated "gay and lesbian" with "adult", it could have been an exec, it could have been an overworked coder -- we'll probably never know. What a mess. Intent may not matter, they've ended up disrespecting a whole raft of people and not acknowledging and fixing it fast enough.

    ETA: "glitch" is just not a strong enough word. I have updated to stronger language.

Alternatives to Amazon: Local Indie Bookstores, Powell's Books, Borders, Barnes & Noble. Always good to have business diversity, choices, and good old free-market competition.

It doesn't matter why. It expresses the new corollary to Clarke's Third Law, Minim's Law: Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.
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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 14th, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
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I think the sudden changes came from a bit of the index being updated, rather than any kind of anti-sex crusade. And they have apologized, and they are fixing it. But damn, we gotta be on their asses about it.

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 14th, 2009 04:56 am (UTC)
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The word "glitch" was wayyyy too trivial, and I'm sorry. Have you seen the Dear Author post on publisher metadata? I think they're right, and you're right -- it was anything vaguely related to anything but the narrowest of straight sex.

I was going to say G-rated so my kidlet could read it, but she isn't that ignorant. She knows about complicated families. This was made of so much fail.

eta: http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/04/12/amazon-possibly-using-category-metadata-to-filter-rankings/

Edited at 2009-04-14 04:58 am (UTC)

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jassyskie

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from: jassyskie
date: Apr. 13th, 2009 05:22 am (UTC)
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I think the 'glitch' will be facing the unemployment line shortly.

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 14th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
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I myself would fire the software management that allowed this kind of stupid switch to be made with no code review and no management sign-offs at the very highest level. WTF where they THINKING????

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