Amazon is following Google’s lead, scanning printed catalogs and integrating them throughout the website.

It’s a totally backwards idea of course, though it makes sense in the end.

The search-engine for scanned text is pretty neat – I’ll give them that. In a reasonable world though, someone who could put together a printed catalog, would be able to dump all the data from the catalog into an easily parsed flat-file that could then be handed over to any E-commerce company that wanted it.

Sick and wrong as it is, the concept makes sense. Amazon is finding a way to do business with vendors with whom they have a technology gap (or they’re finding an easy way to enter a market more quickly without having to bridge the technology gap first?)

Maybe Amazon will be able to learn something from the way customers browse the print catalogs that would be helpful in the designing their own pages.

My thesis is starting to wander, so I’ll just finish up by delivering the punchline that I’ve been meaning to squeeze in here:

These catalog companies are all a bunch of shills. They know nothing about quality or value, so instead they offer Val-U. [That wasn’t it. Here it comes.] Take, this catalog from Google’s collection, for example. [There it goes.] Blah blah blah. I didn’t blagedy blah blah four years blah blah blah!

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