Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The latest Web celeb: Your friendly neighborhood bookseller

Video blogs are becoming increasingly popular on the Web (Have you seen ours?), and retailers are taking full advantage of the medium to reach out to their shoppers.

Barnes & Noble, for example, recently launched a new feature called Blogging Booksellers on its site, Eleven booksellers from nine cities around the country are now creating and uploading personalized video blogs about local store events and their latest recommended reads.

Click to watch bookseller Lois, the head of the children's department in Surprise, Ariz., offer book/DVD recommendations for kids here.

The video blogs, updated weekly, intend to bring the experience of chatting with a knowledgeable bookseller in a store to life on the site. This is a clever way for big retailers to create a smaller, localized feel at its various stores nationwide.

The “Store Locator” on Barnes & also allows visitors to identify stores with Blogging Booksellers in residence, a way for consumers to find their local “celeb” bloggers -- because I know if I'm ever in a Barnes & Noble in Surprise, Ariz., I'll be sure to hunt down Lois and tell her I loved A Wrinkle in Time when I was a kid too.

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