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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader 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 e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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January 2018
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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.

 

Free Kindle 3G Giveaway

I’ve done so in the past and I’m doing this again. I’m giving away one free Kindle 3G w/ Special offers. The rules of the giveaway are very simple. All you need to do is follow http://twitter.com/#!/blogkindle and retweet this tweet (http://twitter.com/#!/BlogKindle/status/111982324157136896) before September 16th 2011 ends according to Pacific Standard Time. I’ll monitor all retweets and will randomly pick one person whom I’ll contact regarding the free Kindle via Twitter.

Good luck!

Nook Still Going Strong in Kindle vs Nook vs iPad Study

It’s gotten to the point where everybody and their grandmother, quite literally in most cases, has their own page on the Facebook, Twitter feed, or something similar these days.  You might even post to them from your Kindle from time to time.  Whole network news stories have formed based off of memes and rumors spreading across the social network giants.  We’re all aware of the pervasiveness of the phenomenon and clearly Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) and Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) are too, given the integration into their eReaders.  So, if you want pure, unfiltered information relating to pretty much anything then it only makes sense to consider pulling the comments from these sources.  Easier said than done though, given the millions of posts being done on every topic imaginable, or none at all, on a daily basis.

In spite of this, we have Crimson Hexagon, a company that specializes in just this sort of data gathering and analysis!  Looking at relevant Twitter Tweets, and no they don’t specific how “relevant” is defined for the sake of this study, they have released a study of the comparative levels of customer satisfaction among owners of the Kindle, Nook, Nook Color, and iPad (though specifying that only tweets specifically related to the iPad’s eReader usefulness are taken into account).

The results are fairly predictable, in a way.  Kindle definitely takes the lead in terms of sheer user comment volume, having averaged approximately a thousand tweets per day against the five hundred or so for the various Nooks.  The iPad came in with the lowest numbers, but that was mainly acknowledged to be the result of culling all non-eReading related posts for the sake of the study.  Both of the Nook types, and the Kindle, had around an 80% positive reaction rate, with the iPad coming in lower due to its bulk and glossy screen as might be expected.  Users preferred the iPad for its versatility, but the displays, affordability, and convenience of the dedicated eReading devices wins out.

One of the more interesting things that comes out of this for me is the positivity of the Nook Color’s reception.  Now, I’ve recently gotten one again and this time I’m forcing myself to hold onto it to stay up to date on what it can do and how it’s holding up by comparison.  That said, I’m still distinctly unimpressed by many things about it.  The fact that this study emphasizes the fact that most Nook Color owners consider it affordable at the current price, for example, took me completely by surprise at first (I would mention library books, but let’s face it…that’s an awesome feature for the Nook that you can’t really be surprised by at this point).  I see two possible explanations.  Either owners in general have little experience with eReaders before they got this one, having put off such a purchase on the basis of “who wants a black and white screen” or something similar, or the fact that it’s basically a cheap tablet PC is boosting its reception out of the eReading community.  I’m not saying those are the only cases in which somebody can like their Nook Color, just that they seem to me like they would have to be the most prominent to see these kinda of numbers.

Still, my own possibly flawed analysis aside, it’s great to see that the Nook product line is still keeping consumer attention.  The Kindle is still the best one for me at the moment, but it would be silly to hope for a market to stay strong with only one good product being offered for it.  It would be really nice to see a hardware update to the original Nook that could give Amazon a run for their money.

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.

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.

Win a Kindle by Using Twitter

Twitter-LogoAuthor Carolyn Rubenstein is giving away free Kindles to Twitter users who promote her book.  The book, Perseverance, is a collection of narratives from young cancer survivors.  In an effort to promote the book’s release, Rubenstein is giving away a Kindle a day through Friday.  If you want to enter the drawing, all you need to do is send out a tweet with the topic “#perseverance” included.  The idea is that enough people will be interested in winning Kindles that #perseverance will become a trending topic.

For those of you who aren’t Twitter users, “trending topics” are the most popular subjects being tweeted at any given time.  These topics show up in a side panel that all Twitter users see, so if the contest becomes popular enough it will mean a lot of free advertising for Perseverance.

The whole concept of the promotion banks on the idea that enough people want a free Kindle to dominate twitter.  So far, it doesn’t seem like the contest has been quite the success Rubenstein was hoping.  I wouldn’t blame this on a lack of demand for the Kindle.  I have no doubt that people would be interested in this contest, but that there hasn’t been enough promotion of the contest itself.  If you are looking to get a Kindle, I would recommend taking advantage of this contest before more people hop on board.

Now would also be a good time to remind you of BlogKindle’s Twitter account.  Also, don’t forget that you can keep up to date with the latest tweets on the Kindle itself.

Ok, I lied…

…about not going to tweet myself. Tweeting fever has got the better of me and by the power of Twitter Tools WordPress plugin you’ll see a tweet every time I post something here. But this is as far as it goes… Honestly :)

Now you can follow BlogKindle.com :)