Direct communication involves users speaking to each other in their own words. Amazon’s direct community features include:
Reviews are the most direct way to let others know how you feel about any item in Amazon’s catalog—in your own words. The review includes a 1-5 star rating that summarizes your opinion at a glance. Each review can also be rated “helpful” or not by anyone reading it. Reviews (positive or negative) that have been rated helpful by other Amazon visitors then bubble up to the top of the list. [Hack #27].
You can use lists to rewrite the way items are categorized using your own unique perspective. A bookstore wouldn’t normally put a book of Antarctic photography right next to a biography of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton—and they definitely wouldn’t have a GPS navigation system on the same shelf as well. Lists provide a chance to show how seemingly disconnected items actually share a common thread. [Hack #41].
Lists allow you to attach a few comments to each item. Guides, on the other hand, allow you to attach a few items to your much longer writing. They’re free-form tutorials about any topic. If you’re an expert wilderness trekker, for example, you could write a guide about picking out and using the perfect GPS navigation system and survival gear—listing those items that helped you along the way. [Hack #37].
This feature allows you to find specific Amazon users (including people you know in real life), ...