Amazon just dipped its toe into virtual currency. I don't much like virtual currency (a proxy for money just makes money more confusing and less valuable to the consumer), but I also think Amazon deserves the benefit of the doubt. They're also aiming for the gaming market where virtual goods and currencies are a more familiar phenomenon. We'll see.

CoolTools is a really rich niche blog about gadgets, media, apps, etc that are very clever and useful. The depth of discussion about product features is enviable. This is the type of thing that commerce was made for. via Kif

Went to hear the CEO of Pottermore speak today. He's charged with running the community and ecommerce experiences for something like 48 million Harry Potter fans. When the ebook offering went live last year, they sold over £1 million of Harry Potter novels in the first two days. Talk about rabid purchase intent.

Facebook (because I doubt the impetus for this was not from the acquirer) just brought Instagram's full feed to the desktop web. While this is a good step for platform agnostic design and eventual interoperability with Facebook, it's not great in the way it changes the more intimate nature of the Instagram experience. There was something special and small about the way Instagram only lived on your phone and was a closed application (not something I actually usually like). But in this instance, it kept Instagram feeling safe, precious, and undiscovered.