Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I love 800-CEO-READ

So I've long been an Amazon.com customer, I'm a fan of Jeff Bezos and what he's done there, and I love books, so he gets a fair amount of my money.

One thing that I just can't stand is the silly URL they have for all their books. Here's a great example:

I go to Amazon.com. I type in "Whole New Mind" to search for Dan Pink's new book. It's the top entry returned from the search. I click the link which takes me to the URL below:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1573223085/qid=1113932789
/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/104-0163398-7445570?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

(sorry, I had to break it up on two lines to get it to fit)

I take that URL and I trim MORE THAN HALF of it off, it still works and it looks like this:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1573223085

I know there's all this fancy eCommerce that's tracking how I got there and all this other grand stuff, but why not a link that I can right click and "Copy Link Location" (or "Copy Shortcut" for all those who are still on IE and haven't yet switched to Firefox). I don't like the "Email this to a friend". I don't know why but largely I don't trust them when I can just as easily get a URL and paste it into an email.

So you're wondering what this has to do with 800-CEO-READ? Congrats 800-CEO-READ, you've won my linking business. The URL for Dan Pink's book looks like this at 800-CEO-READ:
http://www.1800ceoread.com/details.asp?productid=1573223085

In fact, I won't just make it my "linking business". I promise to make all online purchases of new books that are available at 800-CEO-READ from them. They offer so many value added services that I greatly enjoy, it's time I put my $$ where my mouth is.

So getting back to the point at hand. Am I unique that I like to have a more simple URL, even if I have to click a link to get it? How many people will make the same switch as me? How will that eventually impact Amazon.com's business?

It's probably all negligible, but is this the first snowflake of the avalanche? Is it something simple like this that pushes 800-CEO-READ over the Tipping Point and Amazon.com into oblivion?

(For those who are wondering why the Amazon.com URL's aren't linked... it wasn't on accident)