Amazon aStore

Amazon aStore Beta Logo

A couple of weeks ago, I saw Matt Homann’s post about his new Amazon aStore. I’ve been an Amazon Associate for a year or so, but I don’t rely on it for anything so haven’t really been paying attention to what they’ve been doing. When I logged in to the affiliate site, there was a very quick explanation of the aStore and a four-step wizard to get set up. So, I set one up.

It’s a nice set-up, still in early stages and beta so it obviously has room to improve. In fact, since I first set up my aStore, Amazon has added the ability to add additional pages beyond the standard “Featured Products” home page of an aStore.

There are two ways you can have people visit your aStore: you can give them a link to the aStore itself (for example, Brett Miller’s Shop); or you can embed the aStore on a page inside your site (for example, My Amazon aStore). I prefer the latter, since it keeps everything within the site, but I’ve not been able to figure out how to ‘deep link’ into individual items within my page set up. My last post included deep links to items, but these went to the Amazon hosted aStore. I’d also like to see an RSS feed for the Featured Items page so people could subscribe to keep up with what has changed.

A lot of my posts draw their inspiration from various media – including books, CDs, DVDs, and video games – all things you can find on Amazon. Though I don’t expect to make a whole lot of money through this, it seems silly to not take advantage of the system when I’m referring to it so much anyway. So, if you think you want to buy a book from Amazon based on what you read here, please feel free. (And tell all your friends, too 😉 )

For more thoughts on the Amazon aStore check out Amazon’s Everywhere Strategy.

Big idea: Neurodiversity

At the Soulard Idea Market a couple of weeks ago, one of the topics that Matt Homann provided for the idea speed dating part of the evening was, “What is the most compelling idea you’ve heard in the last year?” With all that has gone on in the last year, it seemed that this would be a daunting question to answer – much less have a meaningful discussion about – in just two minutes.

But after just a little thought, I realized that my answer to this question was actually very easy to determine. In fact, it was almost exactly a year ago when I first came across (or at least paid attention to) the idea, which can be expressed in a single word: Neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity is a concept that atypical (neurodivergent) neurological wiring is a normal human difference that is to be tolerated and respected as any other human difference. The concept of neurodiversity was created by some autistic individuals and people with related conditions, who believe that autism is not a disorder, but a part of who they are, and that curing autistic people would be the same as destroying their original personalities and replacing them with different people.

In other words, maybe Autism does not need to be cured. Needless to say, this is a controversial point of view, not the least among physicians and parents of autistic children.

In keeping with the concept of idea speed dating, I’m going to keep this post short. I leave it to the reader to pursue as much as you will. But be careful, this rabbit hole goes deep and will take you places you could never imagine.

Suggested reading to learn more about neurodiversity: – honoring the variety of human wiring

Autism Hub – A collection of members who are autistic, or who are parents of autistic people, or are scientists/professionals involved in autism research.

For a well-reasoned counterpoint to neurodiversity, from the father of an autistic child, check out Wade Rankin’s Injecting Sense.

Unreasonable Request: Pokemon Box and Colosseum Promo Disk

At the Soulard Idea Market last week (about which Randy Holloway has written and I am going write), Matt Homann introduced the concept of the ‘unreasonable request,’ which he in turn picked up from Lisa Haneberg. In the (un)conference setting of the Idea Market, each person was offered the opportunity to post a request on the wall, and every one else had the opportunity to look at these requests and act on them (or not).

At the time of the gathering, I couldn’t think of anything that really fell into that category. After some interesting discussions with my son this past weekend, however, I have come upon an ‘unreasonable request’ that I’m hoping someone can assist with.

Actually, this is a two part request, the parts being related but unique:

1. Can you help me find somewhere (or someone) where I can get a copy of the US version of Pokemon Box for Nintendo Game Cube?

  • Pokemon Box is no longer available (at least as far as I could see) at the Pokemon Center.
  • There are non-US versions of Box on e-Bay and other sites, but I’ve not seen a US version
  • The guys at the local game shop had never heard of Pokemon Box.

2. Can you help me find someone who has a copy of the Pokemon Colosseum Promo Disk (again for Nintendo Game Cube) and is willing to part with it for free (or next to free)?

  • This is available on e-Bay and other sites, but for quite a bit more than I’d like to fork out.
  • I asked at the local game shop, figuring their prices might be a bit better than on e-Bay, but they don’t deal in Promo Disks (though they said they’d keep an eye out).

The purpose of this request, if you’re not familiar with the world of Pokemon, is the elusive goal of “Gotta catch ’em all!”

If would like to respond to this request (either part), please drop a note in the comments or feel free to drop me an e-mail at