RealTime IT News

Amazon.com Goes Plogging

E-commerce superstore Amazon.com has caught the blogging bug.

Looking to take advantage of the blogging craze, the Seattle-based firm has launched a beta of Plogs, or personalized blogs, to shuttle links of recommended products and relevant shopping information to users.

Some Amazon.com shoppers were greeted with the Plog, which is powered by the site's ability to sift through pages that users visited and purchases made. It appears to be just another avenue for Amazon.com to recommends products during the online shopping experience, much like the existing "Customers who bought this item also bought these:" feature.

It is not yet clear if the new service was created by Amazon.com's A9 subsidiary, which was set up to build technology to power e-commerce searching.

According to Amazon.com director of platform and technology communications Craig Berman, the goal of the Plog service is to "provide users with an easy way to keep current on events that are relevant to them."

"The service is designed to further enhance the customer experience by providing personalized information, including product recommendations, order updates and other Amazon.com content in one convenient location," Berman said in an e-mail exchange.

According to a note on Amazon.com, the Plog is a diary-type feature of the users' shopping experience. "]It will help] you discover products that have just been released, track changes to your orders, and many other things. Just like a blog, your Plog is sorted in reverse chronological order. When we think we have something interesting or important to tell you, we'll post it to your Plog."

Berman said the latest move is part of the company's "relentless" mission to enhance the shopping experience for customers. "The more that customers visit the site and make purchases, the more interesting and helpful their Plog becomes."

The launch of Plogs comes on the heels of Amazon.com's embrace of RSS to shuttle content to Web shoppers. In March, the company rolled out hundreds of customized RSS feeds, a move that gives a big thumbs-up to the growth of the content syndication format.

Amazon.com's RSS feeds have been programmed to deliver content by categories, subcategories and search results from its Web site. The company said the feeds would deliver a headline-view of the top 10 bestsellers in specific categories or set of search results. Categories include books, music, DVDs/videos, electronics, toys and magazines.

* ClickZ editor Pamela Parker contributed to this report.