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Amazon grows by adding, not integrating recently acquired AbeBooks, which they announced in a press release on the company's Web site. AbeBooks offers a wide range of books to buy and sell. It also has several social technologies to connect its audience of avid book lovers, including community forums, book clubs, wikis, blogs, and more.

Interestingly, this acquisition makes Amazon a major stakeholder in LibraryThing, of which AbeBooks owns 40 percent. LibraryThing is a Web 2.0 site that lets you catalog your books online, and connect with other people who like what you read.

But it presents somewhat of a competition to Shelfari, another social networking site for book lovers funded by Amazon.

According to the press announcement, it appears AbeBooks will remain a stand-alone operation and continue to maintain its site independent of Amazon. While it's yet to be determined whether LibraryThing will be integrated into, or into Shelfari for that matter, it seems Amazon is heading down the "silo" path.

Amazon is maintaining its inventory ("repository") of books and other items separate from that of AbeBooks. With that, Amazon is keeping its social technologies and community separate from AbeBooks'.

But perhaps it isn't Amazon's goal to integrate operations. Rather, it might simply be to gobble up smaller online book communities, and continue to realize its motto: "Earth's largest bookstore." Indeed.

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