A Business Model for Dr. Finn’s research

After listening to Ed Finn’s talk “American Networks, American Nerds” about the connections he drew between Amazon.com suggested reading section and the reviews that customer’s and critics wrote, I couldn’t help but see that his research could be turned into a lucrative business model. Publishers and Amazon.com could use the research to their advantage by gaining key insight about their customer base and their interaction patterns online. Using this information, the publisher and Amazon can try and influence the purchasing habits of the customer.
As I understand it, Dr. Finn believes that the prestige and literary standing of a work is not only influenced by literary critics (professionals) but more so by ordinary readers in the form of their participation in online communities and the digital space. So, what exactly is the value of a consumer’s review? A consumer’s review is not confined in terms of literary space. For example a professional critique or Amazon’s suggested reading may only include a few authors that are deemed of interest if you chose to read David Foster Wallace. We learned, through the presentation, that quotes and passages on the cover and jacket can also be of influence for the consumer. If the publisher intended to link a certain work with another, they could simply mention it in related terms. This would then translate into the readers talking about these linked works in the digital space, and potentially influencing the future purchases of others.
Finn’s work shows us exactly how important and influential the consumer can be in terms of their participation online in relation to a book. With his research, more importance will be given to understanding the consumer and how they are likely to react online. Software can be set up to replicate and automate the steps he took for his initial analysis, and can provide invaluable insight for the publisher and Amazon.


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