Early Adopters at Amazon

Amazon has a new feature updated their feature called Early Adopter Products. I'm not sure how it works exactly, but the site says they're "analyzing purchase patterns" and I think they're trying to see what's bubbling up to the top before it's on the top sales lists. It seems like this could only work if you analyzed the buying patterns of certain people who were flagged as early adopters. How do you know when something is being purchased by trend-setters rather than just having an initial burst of sales after being released? (For example, several books in the Early Adopter Computer Books list don't strike me as books that are being purchased by what I consider early adopters.) I'll be disappointed if it turns out to be just another way to highlight new products. In any case, it's a cool concept and I'll be keeping on eye on it to see if it's useful.
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Is this any different than the Early Adopters link that went around a year ago?


I don't remember if that version was dynamically generated or just written by editors.
Yep, I think it's different because it's entirely automated. (Though maybe it's always been automated and they didn't mention that on the site?) When I posted about it a while back (8/2003) I was under the impression that editors were putting it together.

It's confusing because they also have a feature called "Movers & Shakers" based entirely on purchase patterns.


So what's the difference? I wish they explained how these things work in more detail.
Here's a look at the old design of Early Adopters:


It was limited to electronics. (The updated version has lists across most of their categories.) And there's no description of how the list is compiled. (I'm not sure why I thought it was editors.)
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