Monday Musings: A Nook owner tiptoes onto the Kindle platform; Making money off comments

I own a Nook Simple Touch. Maybe it’s because I root for underdogs or maybe it’s because I chafe at platform lock-in and proprietary file formats, but I’ve been quite happy with life on the B&N ebook platform.

Then, on Friday, Amazon announced its Stephen King Kindle Single exclusive, “Guns.” In the short essay, King, whose book Rage had been linked to several instances of school violence, weighs in on the gun control issue. (King penned Rage as a high schooler. The book was published under his Richard Bachman pseudonym and has since been taken out of print at the author’s request.)

I forked over the 99 cents, downloaded the Kindle app for my iPad and read it on Saturday as I was homebrewing a batch of beer. It was, to be honest, my first real time spent in the Kindle ecosystem and, well, it was enjoyable. I liked that I could see what the most highlighted passages were. I appreciated that I could share quotes on Facebook (and not just links to the book as you can sometimes do with the Nook interface). While I sometimes think that’s UX is lacking, it’s clearly something it pays attention to in the Kindle.

Make no mistake, I still like my Nook a lot, and will likely champion it past the point that it’s reasonable to do so. But in light of today’s news about B&N, and my weekend with “Guns,” it’s ever clearer just how stiff the competition is.

—Brian Howard

Gosh Darn if That Doesn’t Make Sense

Figuring out what to do with user comments has long been a bugaboo for online publishers. People just love to scroll through all that fervent sharing looking for kindred spirits, weak arguments or conspiracist crazies—surely there must be a way to make some money off it!

Related Content