I did something crazy last week. Well, not jump-out-of-an-airplane kind of crazy. Something a bit more tedious. Something a bit more... boring. Similar to doing accounting work.
What did I do?
I've updated all the links on my website. All links related to the books mentioned on my site where when you click, it leads you to another site where you can purchase the book. It might sound simple, but it took me a full 8 hours to complete - probably even more.
Why did I do it?
You see, by default, sites that mention books add a link to Amazon. It's easier. Everyone knows Amazon. The price is right. You can even download the book before it arrives. The checkout process is super simple. Besides, most people are already getting most of their stuff from Amazon and it makes sense for them to buy everything in bulk.
The benefits are clear for us - consumers. Yet, if everyone buys everything from Amazon, especially books, they will, at some point, become a monopoly (well, they already are). And if you've ever played the game with the same name - Monopoly, you know that it sucks when one person holds all the streets. All the railroads. And has a damn hotel on every piece of property on the map.
Similarly, like every other website, I had Amazon links placed on my book-related articles. These weren't affiliated links. I didn't get a commission if you bought a book from one of my links. I simply thought that it's better that way for the person reading. But I no longer hold that belief.
That's why, you'll no longer be redirected to Amazon if you want to obtain a book mentioned on my site. And while my site is extremely insignificant in terms of helping (or not helping) big brands to become bigger. I don't want to contribute in any way.
To be honest, I wanted to do this a long time ago, but I was putting it off. I knew that it will take me hours to make the change. Finally, it's done, and I'm glad I did it.
Now, if click on a link on my site, you'll be redirected directly to Google where, hopefully, a site of a local library will appear. This way, you can support them, instead of the massively expanding global corporation that is trying to dominate every niche online.
Most visitors will find this change minor, and objectively it is. But I think we need to be more aware of where we get our things from. We shouldn't go with the default option. We should consider our choices.
We should ask ourselves something like this before buying: Do I want to support a big corporation that only cares about getting bigger, or do I want to get it from the neighborhood library where I know the owner and I want to help him continue operating?
While we play the game of Monopoly hoping to win, we have the best time at the beginning of the game - when everyone is playing. Not when one of the players obtains every property on the field.
With this, I want to say that it's better to have a lot of people playing in the book-selling business rather than only one person/company who rules the map.