This will probably affect nobody but me, but I'm making a note of it here just in case somebody else has the problem and decides to try to stumble upon a solution.
You are probably aware that I like to obsessively, compulsively create giant lists of every new DVD Amazon lists on a weekly basis. To do that, I create a list of their product ASINs which I plug away at, coming up with links and info for each one.
Some time during the past week, Amazon and/or A9 changed the way their search engine returns results - when I give it an ASIN, instead of just taking me directly to the product in question, they give me a list of ONE search result, "items 1 - 1 of 1" and THEN expect me to click a SECOND time to actually get to the page I intended to get to in the first place.
Now, I realise that an extra click doesn't seem like a big deal at first - but, man, that's like *100%* more clicking for me. Multiply that by however-many hundreds of items I happen to be looking at and you can see how this becomes a giant waste of time.
It also defeats the purpose. Those who know will tell you that the more interstitials you introduce between the desire to purchase and the actual purchase increases the chance that the buyer will lose just enough interest to not GET to the final step of making the purchase. It's just bad business to make people jump through one more hoop. But, they're the multi-zillion dollar Internet shop and I'm just one man who occasionally gets lucky with referrals.
ANYWAY. I attempted to contact Amazon about this, but if you've ever tried to contact Amazon about ANYTHING you know that *that* is another, entirely different set of hoops. Needless to say, despite my rather lengthy and technical discussion of the problem, they wrote back saying they didn't understand my request and were just going to close the ticket. Sure, why not, what's another $x either way?
Writing all of that was actually a pretty long way of saying I wrote a "search engine" plugin for Firefox (and it probably works elsewhere) that will take an ASIN and return JUST the page you want, instead of a list of one result.
Thanks to the Mycroft Project for making it easy to set up.
I briefly toyed with sticking our referral tag onto all the returned results, but that's pretty crass and the bad karma isn't worth the EXTREMELY slim chance that we'd actually see any revenue from referrals from it.
Again, maybe nobody needs this, but if they do...I built it. Please grab it and put it in your search plugin list.
This story's a month old, but my coworker didn't talk about it where I could overhear it until today, so there. Here you go! http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.olesker08mar08,1,76004.column?coll=bal-local-columnists