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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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What Impact Does Social Media Have on Reading?

The image on the right is a really creative marketing strategy by Milwaukee Public Library.  I like how they mention sites that just about everyone is familiar with.

The amount of technology including social media, e-readers, tablets, computers, and more, is overwhelming.  Technology is a very good thing because it puts the world at our fingertips.  Social media has formed a global community of users.  It has also helped us keep up with the lives of our friends and family more easily.

Social media can be used to share what we are reading.  We can share passages from our Kindle via Facebook or Twitter.  We can also follow Amazon or other Kindle related users to keep up with the latest news and reviews.

The drawback is that it is all a major time suck.  The time we used to spend curled up with a book or playing outside is now spent on Facebook.  More and more of our interactions with others are done online rather than in person.

So, how does this all relate to the Kindle?  Well it is more of a topic for discussion than anything.  If you could take a break from social media for a period of time, would you do the same for your Kindle?  I am excluding the Kindle Fire from this question because it is more tablet than e-reader.

In my personal opinion, there is something that sets the e-ink Kindle apart from other gadgets.  It is considered electronic, but it is built in a way that simulates that feeling we get when we read a real book.  I curl up on the couch and escape into my Kindle books often.  Does anyone ever say they’re addicted to the Kindle?  If so, do you consider that a bad thing?

I think social media also affects the quality of what and how we read.  We are exposed to so much information that we have to filter it out.  So we spend less time reading more in depth material.

So, how can we use the technology more effectively?  We will have to actively allot time for various things. Check e-mail or Facebook twice a day, get outside for an hour each day, etc.  Read for an hour a day.  Those are just examples.

It is amazing to me that just 10 years ago a majority of what is out there now wasn’t even invented yet.  However, books have been around for a very long time.  Now e-readers add another medium for reading them.  Happy reading!

 

 

ESPN and Hulu Plus Join the Kindle Fire App Lineup

Move over cable television, the Kindle Fire is getting even more wildly popular apps: Hulu Plus and ESPN.

Hulu.com pulls together all of the latest TV show clips and available full episodes into one website.  Hulu Plus is their subscription based service that allows access to even more shows and movies.  It is better than Netflix in some respects because it provides access to TV shows soon after they air as opposed to months later.

ESPN shows live sporting events right on you Kindle Fire.  I’m a big college basketball fan, so I am especially excited about the prospect of taking the games with me wherever I go.  The only drawback is that you have to sign in using your cable provider account.  So, not everyone can use it.

Hulu Plus and ESPN join Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Pandora, and a slew of popular games to make up a pretty powerful set of apps.  A lot of these are free, but the ones that are pretty inexpensive.

Rumors and speculations are flying about how the Kindle Fire is set to knock the iPad off the top of the tablet market list.  I don’t doubt that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has the tools and ability to do it.  They also have a great reputation for top notch customer service, and for having much more cost friendly products than the majority of major retailers.

Right now, the major advantage to the Kindle Fire is price.  The iPad has the history and larger app store.  However with the addition of all of the major apps like Hulu, ESPN, etc, will set the Kindle Fire up to be some pretty hot competition.  I will be very interested to see what Apple does in response.  In the past they have typically come back with a better product touting improved features without budging too much on the price.

I’d love to see a future 10* Kindle Fire that includes a robust app store, external keyboard compatibility, and a reasonable price.  This future version might just become reality quite soon.

I’m eager to hear what new Kindle Fire owners have to say about the tablet once they get to finally try it out.  Will the user interface be intuitive and easy to use?  Will colors be vibrant and sharp as the description boasts?  All are questions that will be answered on the fast approaching November 15 release date.  Let the games begin.

 

$250 Amazon Gift Card Sweepstakes

Become a fan of Amazon Kindle on Facebook and enter for a chance to win a $250 Amazon Kindle Gift Card.  The sweepstakes ends on June 23.

10 people will be randomly selected, and the gift card can be used to buy all kind of Kindle goodies.  Its even more than enough to buy a new Kindle and a good stock of e-books.

The Amazon Kindle Facebook fan page does a number of sweepstakes from time to time so, check them out, and who knows, you might just get lucky.  The page also has a lot of great Kindle thoughts, reviews and special offers.

 

 

Facebook Kindle Sweepstakes

As I was perusing Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) website, I saw an easy Free Kindle Sweepstakes, and thought you might be interested.  This contest is a token of appreciation for being a fan of the Kindle on Facebook. So, if you are on Facebook, become a fan of the Kindle and enter for a chance to win a Kindle 3G.

How to Enter the Contest

Go to the Kindle Facebook Fan Page, click “like”.  Once you do that, you can enter your name into the sweepstakes via the fan page.  Enter your name, email and phone number, then the site will ask permission to add an Amazon Facebook application.  You can only enter once.  The process is fairly simple.

The contest ends on March 31.

Kobo’s Reading Life is Interesting

At a time when the bigger names in eReading like Kindle and Nook are probably a little bit nervous about the future of their place on Apple’s devices, Kobo comes along and introduces an interesting and fun new set of features specifically for them that might be exactly what they need to attract new users.  Reading Life, as they have named the feature, is a combination of social networking and a game-like achievement system that should provide an interesting contrast against other similar platforms and their offerings.

For those who haven’t seen it yet, and I’ll assume that’s most of you, you do have the same ability to share passages from your current read over Facebook that you get with the Kindle and Kindle apps.  You also get to share, in detail, when you start reading a book, when you buy a book, when you annotate a book, etc.  You also get some measure of progress withing the book in terms of progress in the form of both percentage completed and total page turns.

What I found most intriguing, however, were the introduction of “awards” that you earn by reading and discovery of things within the substance of the book.  In Reading Life enabled books (making the untested assumption that you don’t get completely similar experiences from just any book you buy), you can keep track of where the action is taking place, or when you meet a character for the first time, and post these to your Facebook page as you read.  Sometimes this even results in coupons, to judge by what I’ve seen so far.  Coupons are always good, right?

Anyway, I like this as a general trend.  The big problem I see, however, is the heavy insistence on Facebook as the medium of choice.  I get that it’s pretty much the default for everybody wanting to do anything in any way with anybody these days, but that still means that the whole system is reliant on a single service that is completely outside the control of the app developers.  Now, I really don’t think Facebook is going anywhere any time soon(and whether or not that’s a good thing is up to every person to decide for themselves), but this strikes me as limiting. I would prefer to have some degree of linked networking inherent in the Kobo service that just piggybacked on existing Facebook features where applicable.  This would have the added benefit of making it easier, one would assume at least, to integrate the actual Kobo eReader along with any other apps all into a cohesive system.

Depending on how things go in the current Apple vs Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Anybody who sells eBooks situation in the near future, I can definitely see something similar popping up on the Kindle and Kindle apps as well as the Nook line.  If there’s anything that the gaming community has learned over the years, it’s that people love to be able to look at tangible progress and compare notes on who has achieved what and when.  I could honestly see this being used as a teaching tool under the right circumstances.  Let’s hope it takes off in some form.

Social Media and Technology Blogs for Kindle

Mashable is a leading social network news blog that was founded in 2005.  You can get it on the Kindle and Kindle DX for 99 cents a month.  By downloading the site to your Kindle, you can read it anytime with or without the wireless capability.  Just keep in mind that the wireless needs to be on in order for the content to be refreshed.

Peter Cashmore founded the site from a small town in Scotland.  The site includes up to date news on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Web 2.0 trends.  This is a great resources for libraries because libraries are constantly striving to stay on top of the technology curve.  In addition to libraries, this site is popular with entrepreneurs, social media enthusiasts and pretty much anyone who is interested in Web 2.0 trends.

Some recent news topics include the newest iPhone apps.  There is an article about an interesting looking case that makes the iPhone kid friendly.  Another article discusses the ease of using the iPhone to swipe a credit card.  If you are an Android user, there is news for you too.  Of course, you can also find news on the Kindle, Nook and other e-book readers.

Social Media Marketing is a big deal right now, and Mashable is an excellent resource for finding suggestions on how to market yourself on Facebook and Twitter.  Marketing your business on these sites helps get your brand out there and is also a good way to network with people in similar fields of expertise.

Looking beyond social media, another good technology blog to consider is TechCrunch.  TechCrunch was founded in 2005 and profiles start ups, shares the latest technology news and reviews new internet products.  Some of the latest articles include education and e-learning, an interview with the popular movie company, Netflix and thoughts on AT&T’s reaction to the rumored Verizon iPhone.   There is also a section on environmentally friendly technology.

Both Mashable and TechCrunch are rated as top technology blogs.  The reviews for the Kindle edition are great overall.  Reading them on the Kindle makes them much more portable.

Using your Kindle to Connect to Facebook and Twitter

On June 15, the biggest update since the launch of the Kindle DX was released. The new version 2.5 update has a cool feature that owners of the Kindle 2 to send updates to Twitter and Facebook from the Kindle using Sprint’s 3G network. Information is so widely shared these days that it is only natural that the Kindle should add that capability.

Once you install the update, link your Kindle to Twitter or Facebook in the Kindle browser.  Once the browser is connected to the social networks, you can select text from whatever books you choose and tweet them to your followers.  The text will show up with a kindle hashtag and a link so the passage selection has to be pretty short. more

If you would rather share an annotation of a book you are reading, use the annotation tool to select the text and save and share your Twitter and Facebook friends or with the Kindle community.  There is a Highlights section in the Kindle community where you can go see what fellow Kindle users are reading.  This is a good way to find reviews and suggestions for books to read.

This is a good way to share favorite quotes or lines in a book quickly.  The drawback is that the space is limited, but if you have to, you can always create a set of multiple tweets on the same passage.  This would be a great online discussion or book club starter.  If this feature takes off, it will be fun to see passages from well known or much loved books shared and discussed.

Business Week for Kindle

The monthly price for the Kindle edition of Business Week is $2.49.  The magazine is delivered weekly and the plus side of the Kindle edition is that according to one Amazon reviewer, you get it every Friday.  The print edition hits newsstands on Monday.

The Kindle edition of Business Week does not have images and this is a drawback based on what is reflected in the reviews, however, the articles read much faster.

Business Week, now owned by Bloomberg, began publication on September 7, 1929.  Note that this date is less than two months before the stock market crash of 1929.  The stock market crash signaled the beginning of the Great Depression that plagued most of the 1930’s.

Business Week is known for reporting the latest business and economic trends.  The magazine is also known for predicting the trends of the future.  Business Week reported on women in the war work force during World War II, which was a revolutionary concept because before the war, it was virtually unheard of for women to work outside of the home.  Business Week covered the successes of Katharine Graham, CEO of Washington Post Company.  She was the pioneer of female CEO’s.

Business Week also stays on top of the Information Technology arena, which is a vibrant, constantly changing one.  When the magazine was first published, typewriters began to come and become an integral part of businesses.  During the 1960’s, the first computers started to appear, but only in a few places.  As time progressed, Business Week followed Bill Gates and his PC software endeavors in the 1980s and the Internet boom of the 1990’s.  During the 2000’s, Business Week has covered Facebook, Google, smartphones and all of the other latest gadgets we use today.

In 2009, Bloomberg LP, a company owned by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, bought Newsweek from its parent company McGraw-Hill for $5 million.  The official name for Business Week is now Bloomberg Business Week. more

Amazon Announces Update for Kindle for PC Application

kindle for pcA day after Amazon’s May 10 announcement regarding plans to offer Kindle for Android, Amazon announced updates for its Kindle for PC application.  The article from eWeek suggests that Amazon’s recent actions might be in response to increased competition from the iPad, Nook, Sony E-reader and others.

Kindle for PC’s new features include the ability to edit notes and marks, change background color, adjust screen brightness control and includes a full screen reading mode.  Amazon’s Whispersync technology transfers notes, bookmarks and “last pages read” between a PC, smartphone and the Kindle.  By adding these adjustments to the application, Amazon has made it much more user friendly.

Jay Marine, Director of Amazon Kindle wrote: “Kindle for PC lets customers enjoy more than 540,000 books in the Kindle Store even if they don’t yet have a Kindle, and it’s the perfect companion application for the millions of Kindle and Kindle DX owners.” Amazon seems to be heading into the predicted direction of gearing their market towards software, despite solid Kindle device sales.

Amazon also recently announced plans for a new update to the Kindle and Kindle DX called Version 2.5.  In this version, users will be allowed to share passages with friends on Facebook and Twitter.  It will also include Collections, which categorizes books and documents on the Kindle into different sections based on the subject, and Popular Highlights, a passage from a book or document that the Kindle community finds the most interesting.  Content sharing is “the big thing” right now.  It will be an interesting trend to watch in terms how how the Kindle will work with it.

2.5 Update Brings Facebook And Twitter to Kindle and Kindle DX

In a fairly timely manner, given the recent impressive nook functionality update, Amazon gives the Kindle a few new features that are actually something to get excited about for once. And a couple that aren’t of course.

One of the more exciting new additions is simply a long overdue organizational concern.В  Users will now be able to define collections of books.В  I don’t know when this became something people didn’t expect an eReader user to need, but it’s about the only thing I missed when I made the move from the PRS-500 to my Kindle.

Password protection, going down Amazon’s list, is simply a useful new feature.В  Not exciting, per se, but anything that adds a sense of security to this otherwise almost scarily portable device I like to take out in public with me is a good thing.

In terms of functionality, we get the ability to Pan & Zoom on PDFs, and some font enhancements.В  I’m on the fence about the PDF thing.В  It seems like a great idea, but until we see the actual implementation, it might end up being about as useful as the note-taking feature for all I know.В  Sharper fonts, as well as larger font options for those in need of them, can’t help but be a plus.В  Anything that makes reading even more pleasant gets my vote.

The most hyped part of the update, however, is about Facebook and Twitter integration. В At very least it gives you (and Amazon) the ability to advertise to people that you’re reading on a Kindle right this minute and show off what your book of the day is. В Depending on how functional this social highlighting would be it can turn out to be quite useful. I read several periodicals and blogs on my Kindle when I’m on the go. I highlight and clip interesting articles and paragraphs so that I can later get back to them or share with other people only to forget about them five minutes later. The problem is that although Amazon let’s you view your notes and highlights online so theoretically you could conjure up a web-service that would email them to you, this functionality doesn’t apply to periodicals and blogs. Hopefully with this update you could tweet your interesting highlights and then read your own tweets so they are actually not forgotten.

Anyway, this one’s going to be a fun one, especially for those of us with huge collections.В  Bringing some order to the chaos that is my ebook shelf is going to be a huge relief.