Amazon has just released a new Wikipedia clone, called Amapedia. It's described as "a community for sharing information about the products you like the most." So far Amapedia has had no promotion from Amazon, but it was discovered today by Rogers Cadenhead. Anyone with an Amazon.Com account can edit the site. Regarding the name, Amapedia appears to be a combo of the words Amazon and Wikipedia: ama[zon][wiki]pedia.

Note that this is a different wiki product than what Alex Iskold was referring to in yesterday's post, on Amazon's use of tags, ajax, blogs and wikis. In that post we were discussing the ProductWiki feature, but it states on Amapedia's homepage that "Amapedia is the next generation of Amazon.com’s ProductWiki feature; all of your previous ProductWiki contributions were preserved and now live here."

The site looks pretty raw currently and has little info in it - it is after all brand new. But a wikipedia for products makes perfect sense for Amazon. Who better to spotlight products and gather product information from the community, than Amazon? Another way to look at this: Amapedia could become the next generation of user reviews. User reviews on websites today are relatively rigid and old fashioned, so Amazon may be thinking that Amapedia will be a new platform for user reviews - it may help remove redundancy in reviews, while offering more completeness.

We'd like to see a bit more structure in the Amapedia pages, so that it is less chaotic when people edit it. For example add sections to pages. But the fact that tags are there already is fantastic - Amazon is calling this "collaborative structured tagging". Check it out and let us know what you think.