Tuesday, December 05, 2006


And another site to see

One of the most interesting things about blogging is hearing from people thousands of miles away, entire continents away, while I sit here in my provincial little shop - it makes the world seem much smaller, and a heck of a lot friendlier. I say this because I received a very kind email from Leonard, who lives in Goa, India, about my blog and his new business endeavor. He's set up an eBay-ish/Amazon-ish site, Dogears Etc., the first of its kind in India. People can list their books for sale, or enter their want lists (this strikes me as a great way for first edition collectors or completists to find Indian-published versions of their favorite authors, certainly a difficult task before now). Leonard will be blogging, too. Very cool.

Hearing from halfway around the globe must be a delight. Having a message come to you personally is what makes it special.

But we all 'hear voices' from far-away India more frequently than we may think: everytime we call a ticket reservation service or a customer service number for a large enterprise! (Put in whatever name you like, practically!)

The operative words for the new amazonlike vendor search site are probably not 'in India'; I think it could list books from any source, any publisher, any seller anywhere in the world.

Postscript: On my cheap-priceless-editions blogspot, I just added a search box to webcrawl for used book listings on a dozen meta-sites.

It was very easy to paste the code for this so that it appears at the top of the CPE page.

As soon as I build up some traffic, I will solicit user feedback on the new search.

Since this generates nil revenue for my site, the interesting bit will be reader reactions.

And it will be fun to follow developments for the site Sarah mentions. Will it succeed and then be bought out? I wonder.
Hi Cy - I think that the success of the new site in India will rest in part on the reliability of the postal service there - if one orders a book, will one actually receive the book in a timely fashion? I've always thought of the book business in that region of the world as existing in a kind of free-form chaos - this is based on almost no solid information, however, just general impressions... But the start-up reminds me of the early days of eBay - the birth of a sell-and-swap site with around a billion potential customers - it boggles the mind. I wish them every success!
your comments regarding 'free-form chaos' reminds me of a question I was asked by my project manager when I was working for Blue Cross Blue Shield at Cincinnati, OH. She asked me if we had streets in India. I guess folks in the US garner information about India the same way Indians do about the US - from TV. In my six years in the US, I never came across a bunch of 30-somethings whiling away their time in a cafe, like the 'Friends' did...:-)
Point taken, Leonard! Gee, DO you have any streets there?? Hee hee. Oh, the arrogance of Americans (I include myself...).

I think of the early days of eBay this way, re "free-form chaos" - a huge industry (in this case, USED STUFF) on the brink of its creation, lots of untapped sources ready to flow once the internet became mainstream.

I don't know any "Friends" either, and I am a thirty-something whiling away my time - sometimes in the bagel shop across the street...

Apropos of nothing: the word verification is SAAHRS. Anagram of Sarah's - spooky!
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