Video Book Reviews on Amazon.com


Remember when Amazon.com was new and the most interesting thing about visiting its Web site was reading customer reviews of books? Well, not everyone loves sharing their book impressions in text form. A short video commentary about a book can be entertaining to make and to view.

So when I recently purchased The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein, in the back of my mind I knew that I ought to create a short video review for Amazon.com. Not every book sparks a desire to create a video review, but this one did.

You can view my 3-minute video-book-review here.

After creating this review, the thought occurred to me that Amazon.com could easily go one step further. It could allow its customers to link to creative works inspired by books (or other media) sold by Amazon.com.

For example, about three years ago I read a fantastic biography of the Wright Brothers titled: To Conquer the Air: the Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight, by James Tobin. Right after reading this book I created this freely viewable (and downloadable) 26-minute video that I placed on Google Video. It would be neat for me to be able to link to this video from the Amazon.com page for the book that inspired the video. The author of the book might even receive an e-mail alert that I had done so. And my video might spur more people to read that book. Many circles of creativity and thought could then be completed, right there on Amazon.com

We all build upon each other's work. The Internet gives us better and better tools to acknowledge that fact. With very little programming work, Amazon.com could give us one more link to add to customer reviews on its Web site. The link could be called: Creative works inspired by this product.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon were prescient when they wrote these lyrics on their Abbey Road album. "And, in the end, the love you take/ Is equal to the love you make." Ain't that the truth?

Phil Shapiro

(The blogger works as the public geek at the Takoma Park Maryland Library and is an adjunct professor of education at American University. In his spare time he likes to write stories, compose songs, write book reviews, make things and deliver donated computers to people who don't own them. He can be reached at philshapiroblogger@gmail.com and at http://www.twitter.com/philshapiro If you contact me on Twitter, kindly do so after filling in your Twitter profile.)

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