Stross on Amazon: A Rare Mobile Post

(title corrected….screw you, Swype)

Charlie Stross has some (more) observations concerning Amazon’s business practices. As you can probably guess, his observations are well-considered, amusing to read, informative, and not at all complimentary of what Amazon is doing. I commend you to read his post. I doubt ant summary I write well do it justice.

I’ve written so much and so often about monopolistic practices by distributors in the music, but I sometimes wonder if it’s the same in other digital distribution channels. Sadly, the answer is a resounding “yes.”  I had rather naively hoped that digital distribution would have freed us from the anti-competitive practices common in the era of physical distribution, but instead, the situation is very much “meet the new boss/same as the old boss.”

In addition to Amazon making life miserable for creators and, ultimately, consumers, there’s another wrinkle to this story that pisses me off: It’s damn near impossible to find service providers who are reasonably priced and not actively evil. Maybe “evil” is too harsh a word, but “exploiting your position as an effective monopoly to gouge both suppliers and customers” isn’t exactly angelic, is it?

So, moving away from Google and switching to Amazon is, at best, a lateral move. It accomplishes little other than decentralizing.

I’m posting this from a tiny coffee shop, stranded here by a quite impressive thunder storm, all of which seems appropriate. Now I remember why I seldom post from my phone. Swype is a marvel for small bursts of writing, but a real keyboard beats a virtual one (and a super sensitive touch screen) every time.

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