Amazon’s US Site Goes Down… Millions in Sales Forfeited

amazon down hardVery disturbing to come across THIS at http://amazon.com — generally believed to be one of the strongest and most stable web companies with servers so trusty that thousands of businesses lease space via Amazon’s S3 Web service.

UPDATE: It’s been shaky, but back up after nearly two hours of all systems down. AdAge estimates that Amazon lost about $2 million in sales:

E-comerce site Amazon went down this afternoon around 1:30 EDT and stayed down for at least an hour. Attempts to access Amazon.com were met with the following message: “Http/1.1 Service Unavailable.” It’s hard to know exactly how many dollars a minute Amazon loses in sales for every moment its site is down, but simple math pegs it at about $1.8 million an hour, based on Ad Age estimates.

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Amazon Launches New Widgets

Amazon has been chilling on the UI and widget innovation while other Internet companies go berserk with it. In that same time, Bezos and Co. focused on their new Web service products, the inexpensive storage offerings of S3 and the collab ingenuity of Mechanical Turk. And wouldn’t you know that AMZN’s stock price has doubled in less than 6 months.

But, alas, they’re here: Amazon Widgets. The Associate widgets don’t seem to be any different than they have been, only more easily managed, but the addition of widgets for Favorites, wishlists, and unbox video is overdue.

What’s cool: These widgets can be directly integrated with your Amazon Associates account, providing even more opportunities to earn a few pennies (or 5 % back when you’re the one buying) on Amazon purchases stemming from your site. Also, the design templates are nice and very easily tweaked (at least color-wise)

What’s not so cool: The JavaScript default for widget implementation is janky and slow. For some reason they list WordPress.com blogs as “WordPress.org” — hello?!? Also, for some reason the Wishlist widget still shows items that you already purchased.