Anything that Amazon ever do is worth taking note of. Unlike Apple, Google
or Facebook they usually stay out of the limelight and tech blog hype but they are an outstanding company that know exactly what they are doing and have huge vision. Their latest launch has barely been noticed but is a social network for Kindle users that could have huge implications for everything from sharing books to how people educate themselves via tablets. Amazon have been gearing up for a much improved Kindle launch which is rumored to come to market in the next month or so and it looks like this social network will play an important role on the new improved tablet. Rather than try to develop killer features themselves Amazon are looking for people to connect their Facebook and Twitter accounts and keep their own site lightweight and focused on the core of reviews, following people and engaging in a very light weight fashion.
Light Weight Social Network Focused On Tablets
Amazon have been very smart in the way they have stripped all the features out of this and leveraged Twitter and Facebook to do the heavy lifting. Users are encouraged to hook up their other social networks and if they start doing that it will not only drive visitors to the site but ultimately sales to the book store. The web presence is light enough and you have to think that this will be deeply integrated in to the new Kindle when it does launch soon.
Content Pushed Back To The Web
The great thing about this is that anything you highlight or bookmark on your Kindle is automatically synced back to the web. I highlighted the bit of text below about 6 months ago on my Kindle and there is was waiting for me when I signed in. This is a great way of collecting pieces of information to be shared at a later date and now the added bonus is you can see what others have shared to gain inspiration from what they found useful.
Is This Another Ping?
Last year Apple launched a social network for music lovers which was to all extents and purposes a bit of a flop. This is something along the sames lines as it aims to tap in to a community around content but something tells me that text is a lot better for sharing in this way than what Apple tried with music. It's all about discovery and I often get recommendations for books from friends in the real world. If I can follow people who I would consider knowledgeable and see what they are reading and sharing that is going to be something that is of huge value for me. The fact that I can do it form my Kindle is even handier. Don't for a second think this social network is ever going to compete with a Facebook
or a Twitter but in terms of a fantastically useful tool that enhances my reading ability it might just be useful enough to start using.