Shopping online can be great for bargain hunting, but it’s not usually thought of as a feast for the senses. A new Amazon.com Inc. site is trying to change this, though, by showcasing some items in a multimedia setting.
The online retailer quietly rolled out Windowshop.com in mid-September, and is updating the site each Tuesday with new, best-selling and hand-picked products.
Visitors are encouraged to use the arrow keys on their keyboards to navigate the site, which features products as vivid rectangles in a checkerboard-like configuration.
Right now, Windowshop includes music, books, video games and movies. You can zoom in on a product to see or hear related content, like a video clip of the movie “Kung Fu Panda” or an audio review of the book “The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled it.”
If you want to buy an item, you can click to jump to the product’s page on Amazon’s main site.
Eva Manolis, Amazon’s vice president in charge of the retail customer experience, said Windowshop was intended to feel immersive - something that is hard to do with online shopping, and particularly with Amazon.com, given its scale.
“We wanted to try some new and different things,” she said.
Beyond the stand-alone Windowshop site, Amazon is using Windowshop’s technology and aesthetics to showcase popular holiday toys and kid-friendly video games and DVDs on a section of the main Amazon site. Ms. Manolis said other types of products, such as shoes and apparel, could get featured in the Windowshop style as well.
Wikipedia seeks $6 million - 3 times last year’s amount
The nonprofit group that runs Wikipedia launched its annual appeal to donors Wednesday, seeking $6 million to cover the costs of the volunteer-created Internet encyclopedia. That figure would be a threefold increase from what the campaign raised last year.
This fundraising campaign is set to last until Jan. 15, Wikipedia’s eight-year anniversary. This is the first year the San Francisco-based Wikimedia Foundation has set an explicit financial goal.
Wikipedia, one of the most popular online reference tools, is free and does not post ads, so it counts on donations to keep operating and growing. To advertise the campaign, Wikipedia is posting banners on its pages that users can click on to donate. So far, the campaign has pulled in one-third of its goal. The Wikimedia Foundation’s executive director, Sue Gardner, said that like others in the nonprofit sector, she is concerned about how the sluggish economy could hurt donations. But with supporters around the world, she said, “I think we are buffered and insulated a little bit by the breadth and depth of our donor pool.”
Global broadband prices down 20 percent in 2008
Prices for residential high-speed Internet service are down 20 percent globally from the start of the year, according to a British research firm.
The biggest price drop is for DSL broadband over phone lines, with the average monthly price falling from nearly $67 in the first quarter to $53 in the third, according to the analyst firm, Point Topic.