Posts Tagged: 'wtf'

Apr. 13th, 2009

Amazon semi-apology

Monday night: columnist has an Inside look at amazon during the fail

Amazon semi-apology says it was an 'embarrassing and ham-fisted' error )

There was a fabulous post somewhere about the difference between fake and real apologies. I couldn't find that one (anyone have it?) but Seth Grodin has a pretty reasonable apology ranking, and I think Amazon's was about a 7: "We're sorry that this occurred." Better than "glitch", but not really addressing the issues of how someone somewhere can set a configuration switch to change their entire ranking systems.

And now that we know how much Amazon can manipulate the best-seller lists and search results, and how many books are sold through them, it's time to think more about one company having that much power.
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Apr. 12th, 2009

3 more things about amazonfail

  1. Please don't call Amazon today )

  2. What and why of googlebombing Amazon Rank )

  3. It might well be a glitch after all )

Alternatives to Amazon: Local Indie Bookstores, Powell's Books, Borders, Barnes & Noble. Always good to have business diversity, choices, and good old free-market competition.
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amazonfail

Amazon has just re-defined pretty much every book in their Gay and Lesbian section as "adult" and removed their "sales rank" and listings in the bestseller lists. As though their existence is too scary for children. I'm a mom, gay is just a word for some of our relatives: how dare Amazon try to make them disappear?

This is just wrong and stupid. One author of a non-explicit gay YA book, markprobst , got this explanation
In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller listas. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.
For more WTF? see the list of suppressed books, including Brokeback Mountain, Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story, Tipping the Velvet, Heather Has Two Mommies, and Challenging Homophoba: Teaching About Sexual Diversity.

Not affected: heterosexual novels including violent rape and/or explicit rape (Laurel Hamilton, etc.) And their featured blog of the day includes a trailer for the video game Terminator:Salvation (rated teen). So it's clearly not violence they're worried about.

What to do: use the word #amazonfail on Twitter and blogs, at the very least. Link to the smartbitches redefinition of Amazon Rank. Gosh, Amazon has some blogs with comments enabled. We could... comment.

(cross-posted, sorry)
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Mar. 4th, 2009

zombie racefail

Sometimes what people do just boggles me.

There are, two loud and obnoxious people who post endlessly that the discussion of cultural appropriation and skeevy racial issues is really All About Them. They claim it must have been just a few sockpuppets who were upset, because if real people of color were upset, they'd use their real names. Reasons not to use one's real name in fandom are legion, the first ones that come to mind for me are: fear and/or experience of stalking; child custody issues; employer disapproval; family disapproval; religious disapproval; separation of fan fiction/fandom from professional publishing... it goes on and on. I personally would prefer to keep my professional and personal user names separate from my fandom name, would rather not expose potential clients to my fangirl squee and smutty fics.

So these people decided to expose the real name of a fan who had disagreed with them. OMGWTFBBQ??? The discussion of racism and cultural appropriation was actually kinda getting somewhere, but now it's all about the pseudonym wank. Epic Fail

spiralsheep suggests communal shunning as a response, which makes sense to me. More good posts: coffeeandink is the victim: her post about it, darkrosetiger explains some of the issues, ciderpress has written a helpful post. Even the non-fandom wank community is boggled

The kicker is that one of the pseudonym wankers, who has actually exposed a fan's name, has re-directed some of the links to her exposure post to sites with viruses and malware. That's right. She has so little respect for disagreement that she wants to infect your computer. BOGGLING.

But, there are good things too! coffeeandink has asked for suggestions of books written by POCs and is getting great responses. She is supporting the people of color-owned and -focused press verb_noire, which should soon be starting up and taking submissions.
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