Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

media and society

-- media and society -- i now pronounce you retailer and retailed

Amazon and Logo Announce New Gay & Lesbian Online Store - Cinematical

A mere six weeks after Amazon incited outrage when it was discovered that a "glitch" had de-listed thousands of books with gay and lesbian content, the massive online retailer has announced a partnership with gay-themed cable network Logo to create a revamped LGBT section in Amazon's Movies & TV store...

I am deeply amused. This makes me suspect that they were likely trying something out with Amazonfail that went very badly indeed. (So all the protesting about the "rogue cataloger in France"? Probably not so much of one, no.) At a guess, there was probably some erroneous programming, yes, and the switch got tripped far too soon -- possibly a test that was meant to be done on a backup copy of the system, and not the main public catalog. That said ... even if they were doing it for the Logo store and video content, the metadata on the items was, and remains, far too broad. But I digress.

On the whole, it looks like it's just a subsection of the Amazon catalog -- albeit a strangely invisible one. If you know the front page, you can go straight to it. If you do a search within the main Amazon catalog for a Logo-branded item -- Noah's Arc, for example -- it appears in the catalog without any mention of the Logo store. You'd think that anything that appeared in the Logo store would have something attached to the record that said, "Hey, we've got an entire store of stuff Just For You! Anything that has ever been anywhere in the vague vicinity of Logo! All together in one place! Really! Have a look!" You know, something like that. Amazon is not, after all, known to be terribly subtle about such things, and normally it works for them just fine.

As long as the stuff isn't being separated out of the main catalog, I suppose there's nothing bad about this. Given the implementation, it's hard to see how it benefits anyone besides Logo -- it gives them a way of directing deep links off of their site, and possibly gets them out of the vendor business, if that's what they want. Eh. We'll see how it goes.

Posted by iain at 02:52 PM in category media and society