Reviewer Ranks Shift

This morning I realized that my good ole Top 100 reviewer status had been shifted as a result of a change of the way Amazon calculates the rankings of reviewers. Based on the new method, I am reviewer #148 (though they say the reviewer standings would be recalculated on a daily basis).

Actually, that seems more fair and a reflection of the fact that (due to all other things going on in my life these days) I am not as prolific in my reviewing as I used to be.

Here is how Amazon summarizes the changes:
* Review helpfulness plays a larger part in determining rank. Writing thousands of reviews that customers don’t find helpful won’t move a reviewer up in the standings.
* The more recently a review is written, the greater its impact on rank. This way, as new customers share their experiences with Amazon’s ever-widening selection of products, they’ll have a chance to be recognized as top reviewers.
* Amazon has changed the way they measure review quality to ensure that every customer’s vote counts. Stuffing the ballot box won’t affect rank. In fact, such votes won’t even be counted.

I am very glad with these changes: the wisdom of the masses playing an even MORE important role.

Can Amazon MP3 Kick iTunes' Musical Butt?

If Amazon is going to offer good quality MP3s for less, I sure hope they take over this space. I’ve long been a fan of Amazon (though I admit my respect for all things Apple has evolved in the course of the past couple of years).

But I am not in love of the idea of paying more for something when I can (legally) get it for less. The case in question: I had a gift cert to put to use in Amazon and I decided to give their MP3 store a shot to download an album I’d long wanted to get: The Wizard of Oz. I found it one dollar cheaper in Amazon MP3 than in iTunes. 😉

Going To Bed With an Electronic Book

One of the biggest annoyances I have always thought of in terms of electronic books (eBooks, downloadables, etc.) and reading them on a gadget has been: would I go to bed with this book? Would I read it while lying on my pillow?

Last week, thanks to Henkel, I learned about Kindle,’s new wireless reading device. Here is an excerpt from the Kindle development team:

We designed Kindle to provide an exceptional reading experience. Thanks to electronic paper, a revolutionary new display technology, reading Kindle’s screen is as sharp and natural as reading ink on paper—and nothing like the strain and glare of a computer screen. Kindle is also easy on the fingertips. It never becomes hot and is designed for ambidextrous use so both “lefties” and “righties” can read comfortably at any angle for long periods of time.

So, are you going to go to bed with Kindle?