In Amazon’s Purchase of Shelfari, a Possible Front in the Battle with Borders—and a Triumph for Social Book Sites
Last week, we reported that Amazon is acquiring Seattle-based Shelfari, a literary social networking site. We also noted that Cambridge, MA-based LibraryThing (which Amazon also owns 40 percent of) had some harsh words for its West Coast rival. John Cook of the Seattle P-I provided some useful insights and comments here (e.g., the deal is less than $10M, not a home run). But the acquisition left me wondering about more than just the future of these two startups, and whether it was a good exit for Shelfari. It made me think about Amazon’s strategy, and how the deal fits into the larger context of social sites built around books and other consumer goods.