News on the Kindle 2: Some Glitches, Lots of Potential

kindle at breakfast

News on a Kindle 2: Part of my balanced daily breakfast.

Last week my Kindle 2 e-reader from Amazon arrived. I swore to my brother a couple of years ago I’d never buy 1.0 of anything ever again — and I’m glad I waited. I played briefly with a friend’s first-edition Kindle last year and was intrigued. The new version has a better display, better form factor, and better usability.

This device is far from perfect, but it’s impressive. It’s pricey ($359) — but I still think even the most cash-strapped newsroom should acquire one and make it available so journalists, editors, designers, and news technologists can play with it. If you can’t or won’t buy one and you’re in the online news biz, go buy a Kindle 2 owner a beer and play with theirs for an hour or two at least.

Why? Because I seriously suspect devices like this could become game-changers for online and mobile news — perhaps surprisingly fast. That is, if online news operations start taking e-reader technology seriously and work with Amazon and other e-reader makers to improve e-reader news delivery. We still have a way to go, but I see significant’s potential.

Currently Kindle is mainly intended for reading books. But Amazon has always sold newspapers and magazines (one-offs and subscriptions) since it launched the Kindle Store. Yes, that’s right: sold. As in: revenue.

This week I bought a couple of issues of Technology Review, and I even subscribed to the San Francisco Chronicle. (Yep, subscribed. Paid for it. Me. $5.99 per month. Imagine that.) Generally, I like getting news via Kindle, but there are some glitches.

My observations so far… Continue reading

Following Chinese Earthquake via Social Media

I just posted this item to Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits by our correspondent in Shanghai, Fons Tuinstra (who blogs at China Herald) about the surprisingly important role Twitter is playing in the unfolding coverage of today’s major quake in southern China. Check out Fons’ post

Also read what UK Tidbits correspondent Paul Bradshaw has to say about this phenomenon on his Online Journalism Blog. He offers a ton of links to places where social media-based coverage and analysis of the quake is happening

Meanwhile, from Seesmic’s Newspod video alerts I heard that there’s a lot of on-the-spot video happening on YouTube. Here are a couple of videos I found…

News is going to be more and more like this, I think…