: Amazon uses the blog form to make recommendations in what it calls a plog — a personalized blog.

Your Plog is a diary of events that will enhance your shopping experience, helping 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.

If Amazon were smart, they’d really make it into a blog — they’d encourage us — buyers, users, readers, writers, whatever the hell we are — to post to that “plog” … and create content … and generate traffic … and generate sales … and get a cut for those sales … and end up in a big conversation about buying stuff at Amazon. If they were really smart, they’d do that.

But, instead, they merely used the reverse-chronological-order grammar of blogs to liven up their recommendations and make them more urgent and newsy. And that’s good. That alone would be clever.

But I wouldn’t call it a “blog” or “plog” unless I meant it, unless I went the next step to truly turn my customers into publishers. Otherwise, all Amazon is doing is trying to rub off on the heat/cool of blogs. And that’s not smart. That fades fast.

Yo, Amazon, go by this.

: And, of course, I forgot to mention that the best thing to include would be links to a user/reader/writer/buyer/blogger/plogger’s own book reviews both within Amazon and on a blog elsewhere. With permalinks to the Amazon reviews, blogers would link directly to them from their own blogs. Traffic grows. Conversation grows. Sales grow.