Thursday, April 4, 2013

Goodreads, Amazon, Anna Karenina: Coincidence?

Last week, when Amazon announced that it had bought community reading site Goodreads for an undisclosed sum, there was plenty of sturm und drang about what Amazon would do with the treasure trove of Goodreads data about the books its members read, rate, and recommend.

Would Amazon start posting Goodreads reviews on Amazon?  Would it start selling cameras and lawn mowers to Goodreads members?  As the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, Amazon’s acquisition has already “set off a backlash among some fans of the popular site who treasured its independence.”

So, as an Amazon customer and a Goodreads member, let me report an interesting coincidence.

Just last Saturday I added Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s translation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to my Goodreads My Books list.  (I’m about a third of the way through it, with mixed impressions so far. When I'm done, will I join the ranks of the 10,292 Goodreads members who have already posted reviews?  Not sure.)

Imagine my surprise, then, when Amazon sent me an email this morning with the two-word subject line Anna Karenina.

When I opened it, this is what I saw:

Is Amazon taking advantage of Goodreads member data already?  Sure, this film adaptation of Anna Karenina is a recent release—hey, it’s the reason I started reading the novel in the first place—and yes, I’m a TiVo owner who has rented and bought movies and TV shows from the Amazon Instant Video Store, whose new movies this email is touting.

As I said, it could be just a coincidence.

No comments:

Post a Comment