amazon chat

I looked at the PlayStation 3 preorder page on amazon the other day and noticed something different. By the product’s picture, there was a link reading “Chat with friends about this product.” When clicked, users can choose a product and enter into an associated chat room by signing in with their amazon account information.

There are plenty of categories related to consumer electronics, but also included are sections for a number of genres of books. Am I behind the times or is this feature relatively new? (Note: I’m guessing it is new because I tried to make it work on two machines with two different browsers, and it failed consistently. Anyone get it to work?)

You all can probably see where I’m headed, but I’m not saying that libraries should consider doing something like this simply because a commercial entity is doing it. No, libraries are too special to blindly mimic the commercial world. I am saying that talking about books is (at least partially) our turf, and hate to think of us losing ground. I wonder if amazon will have people actively chatting about books online, just like I’ve seen on p2p file sharing networks. Does that possibility make you feel like we’re not meeting the needs of some book discussers?

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