June 29th, 2009


Worst Darned UI Ever

So, a while ago jdbakermn suggested I put my book recommendations into an Amazon list, so he could buy things I liked. I have (sporadically) been remembering to go in and add things that I gave four or more stars to, and my list is now up to four lists.

But... for a list that lets people magically click to buy things from Amazon that I tell them to, Amazon seem to have invested very little effort in making it convenient for me. It's happy to let me add arbitrarily many books to my list-editing page, with arbitrarily long review text - and then, after I hit "publish list", it tells me "You have more than 40 entries; you must remove some" or "One or more of your entries is more than 400 characters, you must trim it down" or "One or more of your entries uses inappropriate language, which you must remove". It does not find it necessary to tell me *which* entry is over 400 characters (let alone have technology to stop me from entering more than 400), or what the objectionable language *is* (in this case, it was "kick-ass", though I think I previously ran into trouble describing Mordred as Arthur's bastard son).

(I wonder if it would be easier if I set up some sort of affiliate thing, if I could customize it better. But then I'd actually be making money from people following my recommendations, and that seems vaguely wrong. I don't *think* it would tempt me into giving more books high scores...)