Giving “cloud computing” a whole new meaning

 

Amazon is one of the world’s largest suppliers of cloud computing services. Hundreds of thousands of businesses, big and small from all over the world, use Amazon as the backbone of their own individual enterprises. Amazon’s business is itself firmly rooted in the cloud. However, I doubt I will be alone in rejoicing at the way Amazon have been able to utilise this substantial cloud-based platform and industry leading position to make the obvious next move up. They are now getting in to celestial computing. How else can I explain this email that I received today?

Britten 2

Benjamin Britten was a giant of 20th Century classical music, but sadly he died in 1976. The idea that he might have a “New Album” coming out on 22nd April, 2013, is simply ridiculous. Of course it is not difficult to work out what Amazon, or whoever is behind this advertisement, was trying to say. The tenor Ian Bostridge and a number of associates are bringing out an album containing new renditions of some of Britten’s songs.

I don’t think Amazon were being deliberately deceptive in presenting the ad in this way. It is just another example of how lousily the online world deals with classical music. They may be able to distinguish to the nth degree between the different genres of more modern fare but when it comes to the classical world they are simply not at the races.

The email Amazon sent invited the reader to click on a link to “learn more” about Benjamin Britten’s songs. I did.  I was offered a biography of Britten and more links to “works” by Britten, although here Amazon made no distinction between CDs containing pieces composed by Britten and CDs presenting concertos by Bach or symphonies by Haydn where Britten was “simply”the conductor.  That’s alright up to a point but there was nothing about any of this which led me to believe Amazon had given any serious thought to how it curates and presents classical music on its site.

I guess there isn’t a lot of money to made out of getting these sorts of things right, otherwise they would. Even so you would expect a company such as Amazon at least to take some professional pride in how it catalogues, displays and describes what it is selling. They should hire someone, or maybe several people who know their classical onions and task them with upping Amazon’s game. I will not be an applicant for such a position but, depending on the outcome, I might buy more from them if they were to show a greater degree of respect for the materials they are trading in and the people who made them.

About John Carr

John Carr is one of the world's leading authorities on children's and young people's use of digital technologies. He is Senior Technical Adviser to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International and is Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. John is now or has formerly been an Adviser to the Council of Europe, the UN (ITU), the EU and UNICEF. John has advised many of the world's largest technology companies on online child safety. John's skill as a writer has also been widely recognised. http://johncarrcv.blogspot.com
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