Commentary,  Pedagogy

Amazon Offers Web Services and Development Kit

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The official press release is here, but basically Amazon has gone a step beyond XML support to opening up their API for full Web Services SOAP support. You can read the developer information here.

Since I am an Amazon Associate on my Celtic Studies Resources site (finding places to buy Celtic Studies scholarly works can be difficult), I’m obviously pleased, but Amazon’s support for SOAP has instructional potential. It makes it easier to order those books in small seminar-size quantities that the college bookstore may not be able to get from their supplier—or keep on the shelf long enough for the enrolled students to buy. I’m interested to see if the SOAP support is two-way; will they bring in content from outside the Amazon server? I’ve used the Amazon review writing invitation as a writing assignment for composition classes, to a fair amount of success. If you could write a review, say on your local web log at Blogger or Userland, and then have it upstream to Amazon, you’d get a lot more eyeballs, from a lot more communities than either a weblog or Amazon alone could provide. There are of course issues about content monitoring, but Amazon has those problems already.

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