Amazon is a commercial bookstore (as well as a store of many other kinds of articles) which has made some innovative search and organizing functions, for example:
"Search inside" (allowing free full text searching of books, where the publishers admission can be obtained).
Linking cited books to book descriptions in the catalog
Presenting editorial reviews
Presenting customers reviews (free access to write reviews)
Showing what other books have been chosen by customers of a particular book
Customer tags, a kind of keyword or category label visible also for other users.
"See more in the page you made"
From the point of view of controlled vocabularies is Amazon, however, rather primitive. It is a little strange that it uses subject categories and author-links rather mechanically and inconsistent. People are misled, and the same information could easily have be found by performing a new search! (My claim is thus that this is worse than nothing). Consider this example:
Example: In Amazon.com was found David Blair's book: Wittgenstein, Language and Information: "Back to the Rough Ground!" (Springer 2006). The author's name David Blair is clickable in the record. If you click on it, a number of other authors named David Blair is found. However, the same author's book Language and representation in information retrieval (Elsevier, 1990) is not found because this book uses "D. C. Blair" as author name. On the last book you may again click on "D. C. Blair" and will not find the first book.
It is also surprising how inconsistent the subject categories are used. Although the two books are about the same subject, there is extremely small overlap in subject terms (only the term/category "Information storage and retrieval are used for both books. No term for language is given, and the terms seem to either very general or simply misplaced.
(Searches done 2006-06-14).
Look for similar items by subject [David Blair: Wittgenstein, Language and Information: "Back to the Rough Ground!" (Springer 2006)].
Look for similar items by subject [D. C. Blair: Language and representation in information retrieval. (Elsevier, 1990)]
Last edited: 01-09-2006