No love for journos in Sun Valley

It all seemed so promising. The first night at the Sun Valley Lodge bar at the annual Allen & Co  gathering had been a happy affair for the press corps as they mingled freely with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (that’s him on the right), WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell, Activision’s Bobby Kotick, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Capital Research’s Gordy Crawford, Lachlan Murdoch and Harvey Weinstein, among many others.

But the press corps, lulled into a false sense of bonhomie by the new openness, were in for a big disappointment this morning when they got to the Sun Valley Inn. The organizers have decided that press is no longer allowed to hang around the lobby area to speak with event guests as they leave presentations. It also means many a journalist/blogger here will no longer have a  nearby location from which to file stories.

The normally amiable but stern off-duty New York cops who act as security here were asked how reporters were going to be able to power their laptops and write stories. One guard seriously suggested filing stories from the lavatory. I guess that’s one way of  expressing his true opinion of journalists.

Hey Woot, its Amazon. You’re rich.

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You gotta figure that every web entrepreneur waits (prays!) for a call or email that goes like this: “Hey dinky but popular outfit with a loyal customer base — super-huge company here. We want to buy you and make you rich. Have a nice day.” got a call like that from Jeff Bezos’s They announced the deal on Wednesday. It’s speculated that Amazon paid about $110 million for the company that sells only one item per day at discounted prices, until inventory runs out. The next day, it moves on to another item such as you know, a water gun or a home pedicure kit.

woot shortAlready, Woot is playing a part in the e-book reader price war between Amazon and its Kindle, and Barnes & Noble and its Nook, by selling Kindles cheap. (But sorry,  It sold out before many of you woke up.)

from Shop Talk:

Bezos and in a garden, K-I-S-S-I-N-G's Jeff Bezos puts his quirky on in an online introduction geared to employees of Web shoe retailer

The chief executive of the world's largest online retailer, in an 8 minute YouTube video posted on Zappos' website, told folks he "gets all weak-kneed when I see a customer-obsessed company."

Bezos, wearing a purple-red button-down shirt and standing in a very non-corporate-looking garden under natural light -- which gives the spot a quasi-online video dating feel -- enthuses about Zappos and his excitement over acquiring the zany online shoe company. Amazon announced on Wednesday the approximately $928 million deal, mostly in stock.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos talks about Kindle 2

Reuters spoke to’s Jeff Bezos at the launch of the Kindle 2.

He talked about device’s price, Amazon’s big picture for Kindle, international plans and cannabilization.

Reuters: Has Kindle been a big hit since its debut late in 2007?
Jeff Bezos:
We had way more demand than we ever expected or even hoped for.
which meant that we were sold out during 2 holiday seasons. which is not a good idea – not the plan. we made more than we though we would need and we still sold out. so its a high quality problem in the sense that demand has been very very good.

Reuters: Popular yes, but aren’t digital book sales still a fraction of physical book sales?
In 14 months, for the 230,000 titles that we have Kindle additions, Kindle unit sales already represent more than 10 percent of Amazon’s total sales in those 230,000 titles. We spent 14 years building our physical books business. And in just 14 months, this is already 10 percent. So we are all very surprised that it is being adopted so quickly.