Dec 17, 2017

Who Is Big Brother in 2017? The Year That Was.

We are certainly living in the future, and this fact hits me at very hard at times I least expect.  This week I received an email from Amazon titled 2017 This Year in Books.  As I scrolled though the article I was struck by the amount of information that is being collected from Amazon customers.

Unexpected Statistics

It didn't start with the ubiquitous sales figures you'd expect... like best selling books, nope it drilled down on Most Read, Most Quoted and quickest read books (or Top 5 Unputdownable). Just think about that!

These figures are taken from users of the Kindle and Kindle app.  You can also see this on the weekly Amazon Chart's which show similar statistics. The Charts will have two sets of figures, the Most Sold and Most Read. Sometimes these two charts can be quite different, other times they are very similar.

Giving Away Our Privacy

The future is here in a way we least expected, it's due to the Internet of Things, where more and more everyday items are connected to the internet and collecting data on us. We're allowing companies to collect information on us, which we wouldn't have allowed 20 years ago.

Similar to the proverbial frog in a kettle we're slowly giving away our privacy for high tech consumer items and convenience. The Big Brother of our present future isn't a totalitarian government entity (like in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four) but capitalist corporations who collect information on us to use in targeted advertising, to sell us more stuff, or sell our information to other interests. We've become the product rather than the customer.

Speaking of Nineteen Eighty Four, did you know that in January 2017 sales of this book rose? Sales were seven times more than same time last year, 2016.

Interesting Statistics

It's interesting, but not unexpected to see book sales rise when the TV or movie adaptation is released.  For example:

In April, sales of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 The Handmaid’s Tale, are 22 times higher than same time last year due to the release of Hulu TV adaptation of the novel. In September the Emmy Awards crown The Handmaid’s Tale Outstanding Drama Series. It’s also the Most Read book of 2017.

In July, Stephen Kings, The Gunslinger, Book One of The Dark Tower series debuts on Amazon Charts, one week before the film opens. Also this month Neil Gaiman’s book American Gods has its highest-grossing sales week of the year after the TV adaptation debuts on Starz network

Who can forget the TV show Game of Thrones, which is based on George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire? The first book in this series Game of Thrones tops Amazon Charts’ Most Read fiction list two weeks before the HBO finale airs in August.

This list goes on and you can see more here.

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