This could be very exciting, a way for authors to get a little more fame and have the ability to dialog with their readers. Still, as a writer myself, I barely have enough time to write and run my business let alone monitor tons of comments and reviews. This could be great, or a lot of work.
The most exciting aspect is that now users have another way of keeping up with their favorite authors, including following announcements on upcoming books, special events, book signings, lectures, and other information that fans like to know. I have several authors whom I would love to hear speak on any subject including their books, just to understand how they think and why. They have the required websites but they are rarely updated, with a couple of them listing their “current” schedule from 2003. A “blog” with Amazon would allow a broader audience to get that information, which might be more of an incentive to keep that information updated.
I’ve tried to find a single active Amazon Connects on Amazon, but it involves searching author names and checking every single page to see if they have a blog set up. So I have only seen the examples that are only available for viewing if you are signed into Amazon and visiting their help page. It looks interesting from the screenshots and a neat way for authors to leave notes to their public, though I’m not so sure about any conversations.
The Guardian has a different opinion about Amazon Connects.
From the Amazon demo page, it seems the “blog” is the users’ Amazon home page, not the authors’. The users’ home page then displays messages (or posts) from various authors, as and when they create them.
It could be a good idea for Amazon to host authors’ blogs, but this ain’t it.
Again, the issue of what defines a blog (or not) comes up. As I don’t see many of the Amazon “blogs” becoming blogs featuring endless opinion and day-to-day posts on a writer’s life, though some may use it so, I do see it becoming a marketing tool. So should it be called “Amazon Author Marketing Blogs” or “Amazon Authors Personal Pages”? Using the word “blog” is fine for me as I don’t have an agenda with the definition, but it does make you think. As this is in the beta testing stage, we’ll have to see how it develops.