If you’re an Amazon shopper, then you’ve probably been hit by a home page promotion for their reading device, the Kindle. It’s a bit pricey — around $400 — but full of promise. I love the idea of downloading any book I want on demand, but am not convinced yet that the Kindle is worth the money. Ironically, the deal breaker for me is not the aesthetics or the idea of reading electronically. I already read three major newspapers every morning in bed from my phone — it’s the idea that I have to pay so much to read those newspapers on the Kindle (vs getting them free on my phone) that irritates me.
But I digress. It’s a cool idea and Seth Godin has some ideas to make it even better. He notes that this is one of the first technological innovations designed first for WOMEN. (Most tech products are designed for men first, who tend to be the early adopters of new technology, and then they “evolve” for women — although that “evolution” is still suspect with some products.) The Kindle has a look-and-feel that screams female-friendly, and the most downloaded books for the device are arguably chick books (Oprah Book Club, anyone?).
Seth thinks the Kindle has great promise, but is too linear a device. It’s another way of reading a book. That’s not disruptive or innovative enough. Seth is suggesting that Amazon should pour some social networking ideas into the device. Imagine being able to comment on passages (or highlight them) for your friends or your book club. Or to be able to scroll through and find out which passages were the “best” as deemed that by your social circle. I, for one, know my best friend Terri and I would love to highlight and share (we already do that with printed books).
That’s just one of his great ideas. To read more of his brilliant suggestions, check out this blog entry.