Wednesday, March 31

This is pretty cool I guess.

Basically, you can embed pictures of (or links to) Amazon products in your blog, and if people click them and buy the products by that means, you can potentially earn a little money. I say "potentially" because I didn't read all the fine print. People have been doing this for years, but now it's easy and official on both sides. In fact, I suppose you could rearrange your site for maximum product pushiness and essentially become a shill for Amazon. But I think the wise (?) people of the Net would catch on and probably stop frequenting your blog.

But I guess if you're an author or someone else with a product to sell and which happens to carry - which means pretty much anything - you'd might as well make a little extra money while you're at it. It's smart for Amazon because it reduces the number of authors who like to sell directly from their site (as well as through Amazon and other outlets), as that allows them to make more money by eliminating a middleman. This will cause them to rethink the hassles of having their own online store and handling monetary transaction and customer complaints and just give all the business to Amazon. It's smart for Blogger as well because it's another feature they can tout that they're competitors don't offer and paired with "AdSense" gives them another way to attract bloggers who are looking to make a buck.

As my blog is not designed to make a buck, I could care less, but I still thought it was interesting. Boy, Google (owner of Blogger) has gotten their little fingers into just about every facet of our lives, haven't they? Who'd have thought a free search engine would, in ten years, turn into the world's most powerful Internet company and a major force in our lives? They're even venturing into phones and other physical products now. How long till we see a gCar competing with an Apple iCar?

The real butt of that joke is that despite probably outspending both companies and trying for decades, Microsoft still has no clue about how to move beyond a desktop OS, corporate email, and desktop productivity applications. It was instructive how rapidly and thoroughly Gmail kicked Hotmail's ass, surpassing it in users in less than a year, after Hotmail had been around at least a decade. Yahoo hung on a bit longer, but it too has 'jumped the shark' as they say. Google just seems to own everyone they come across.

Except Apple - so far. The erstwhile friends/competitors are beginning to overlap on ideas, the first major one being phones, and so far the iPhone has held off the NexusOne by a pretty decisive margin, but Google is relentless in the way Japanese businesses are. I'm sure there will be a NexusTwo, Three, and so on to keep the pressure on Apple to stay ahead. All of which is a good thing. I do like Apple, but even more, I like a great product. My brand loyalties don't extend to sucky, out-of-date products. Except Windows, I guess :-S  But that's more a monopoly situation than a choice. For my budget, unless I was to live in the Linux microsphere, there's really no alternative.

Once I have the money though, I'll get a spiffy new Mac and that will be that. Or will Google have an even better and sleeker computer by then? The future is a dark glass, indeed.


billybytedoc said...

Try it, you may get rich. It would be fun seeing how many use it.

Regarding Google catching Apple building a computer. It won't happen as long as Google sticks with the PC standard hardware mess. Their biggest successes are in software that works on nearly all computers

A lot of Apple's advantage is that they totally control the hardware.

Before you believe me, you must remember that I have been called a radical Apple fanboy - and I consider that a compliment.

billybytedoc said...

Your dearly beloved poster ( is that what a person who posts blogs is called ) may have called me that once or twice and I love him for it.

Metamatician said...

Well, it's sort of preaching to the choir isn't it - one Apple fanboy complimenting another :)

And you make a very good point about Google's lack of hardware experience and Apple's long track record of very tightly integrated systems.

But Google has the money to hire lots of great talent, and I wouldn't put much past them. I'm still a fan of theirs too, but their size and clout is starting to worry me. I almost want to see another well-intentioned startup come along to give them a much needed challenge. Microsoft has proved it isn't up to the task (too much old thinking going on there), and Apple is increasingly going after media content and your living room, commute, and lifestyle, areas which Google probably desperately wants to get more involved in (e.g. Android) but doesn't have the leverage - the hardware pieces - to get there yet. Letting HTC or whatever that company is make their iPhone knock-off Nexus phones and then branding them as "Google phones" was pretty lame; Apple never does stuff like that. They have the capability to oversee all aspects of the manufacture, assembly, and function of a device from drawing board to what you hold in your hand.

But I don't think it will be too long before Google starts to use their huge treasure chest to start tinkering around with hardware R&D... It will be interesting, that's for sure!

I'll be rooting for Apple, of course. Until Steve dies anyway, which hopefully won't happen for a long time. It's hard to imagine the company without him, isn't it?

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