E-Commerce API

Yesterday I noticed my husband log into his Good Reads account and manually add his latest books from Kindle so he could share his recommendations with his friends. It was a little cumbersome and annoying process.

We are both avid readers. We own over 200 physical books and over 25 Kindle books between the two of us (Kindle is just in the last 3 months!) These days, we love coming back home and sneaking some time in the park or at the riverfront with our Kindles. But it is frustrating that I cannot share my books with him. It is even more frustrating that there is no way for either of us to directly port our Kindle buys to a site and rate/ review these books on it and make it accessible to our friends.

So we began thinking, why doesn’t Amazon create an API that allows users to port their Kindle books into a Good Reads equivalent where they can immediately review and recommend the books, or at the very least thumbs up and down it for their friends ?

Then today a few different conversations happened that helped me connect the dots better.

1) We’ve been working on a POV document for our client regarding Blippy. I’m embracing more transparency on the web but am not ready to share my credit card transactions just yet. Blippy is interesting but I’m not sure if people “liking” my purchase is adding any value to me.

At this point, Apple and Amazon have access to majority of my online shopping history. And I’d venture a guess to say that 80% of it is media related. Books, movies, music, DVDS. How amazing would it be for Apple or Amazon to pull a Blippy and give me the option to make any or all of my purchases public. I could not only share them with friends but also record my own experience / review of the particular product.

2. I’ve been playing around with a site called GetGlue for some time now. Getglue reminds me a lot of Netflix but I don’t yet see a tangible return on getglue. Netflix was able to rent or stream me movies and it made sense that the more movies I watched, the better it was able to make recommendations. I guess, I want to discover new faves and have options to buy, rent, read them.

I also spend 30 minutes today answering 50+ questions on Hunch.

3. I also read a terrific review of the KIN phone on the All Things Digital blog. What caught my eye is Mossberg’s assertion that what makes KIN amazing is that all media, images and videos are directly saved online without the user having to do any set-up or transfer! So you take a photo on your KIN, log on to your KIN Studio and lo behold! – it’s already uploaded on it.

So all of this got me thinking, how much richer my experience across all these sites would be if I was able to port in automatically (in addition to my profile/ interests from Facebook) my purchase history from Amazon, Apple and whichever other retailer. (maybe FreshDirect)

I don’t want to physically spend any more time answering questions or likes on sites like Good Reads, Get Glue and Hunch. I want to port in all my available data to them and have them figure it out. Do the work behind-the-scenes and just tell me what I need to know.

Good Reads, Get Glue and even Hunch would become that much more contextual and relevant for me than they are right now.

I actually don’t doubt the possibility of this either. We are moving into an era were privacy is more ambiguous than before and as a generation, we are simply more comfortable sharing personal information at a larger scale. I think an E-Commerce API, or the ability to port in our purchase history (not the amount we spend, but the actual products we buy) will be the next seminal step in creating a more “social” web. It’s not simple about where my friends are and what they are doing – it’ll be more about this is me and this is what I need.

My two cents.

One Comment

  1. Diana February 23, 2011

    I just signed up for Goodreads recently and you can import your entire Amazon.com purchase history into your Goodreads library. You can also import from sites like Shelfari. So far though, no integration with GetGlue, which is a bummer.

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