The Failure Of The Kindle As A New Media Platform

Jun 16th, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Story, General

The current Kindle book readers are technological wonders – but some are beginning to recognize that the device is a bit of wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Kindle looks like it should be a new media platform, but it’s primary focus is old media.

PSFK, a popular design, technology and media site, has been testing out Amazon’s publishing platform for the device, and they report that the Kindle’s not working:

PSFK has finally received the first two weeks sales figures of their version of on Kindle. We’ve discovered that a whole one person subscribed to the ‘trial version’ of PSFK.

These sales figures surely prove statistically that Amazon’s technology is a failure when it comes to blog publishing and readership. It’s crazy to read that the tech media continues to be deluded about Kindle’s success when even with a 14 day free trial and massive awareness among our readership we can’t muster more than one $1.99 a month subscription.

Sure, the Kindle will remain useful for a group of people but in its current format it will remain small.

Based on PSFK’s experience, supporting and promoting the Kindle is a waste of time for bloggers.

Back in 2007, we suggested that the Kindle was probably going to be a technological speedbump, because the Kindle is an expensive closed system. More and more people are coming around to that viewpoint.

Tech publisher Tim O’Reilly echoed these thoughts earlier this year when he said that that the Kindle must open up or die.

We need an ereader focused on what we read now, a new media ereader:

Making the focus of ereaders be books is probably horseless-carriage thinking.

A successful ebook platfom will be one that does books, in an open way. But that won’t be enough to make it an iPod-like hit.

The successful ebook platform will be a web platform optimized for reading text, fully embracing the Web.

Do you think that Amazon can tweak its publishing platform to make it useful to both bloggers and Kindle owners?

Update: The New York Times has an article today that looks at Jeff Bezos’ plans for the Kindle platform.

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No Responses to “The Failure Of The Kindle As A New Media Platform”

  1. Taylor Marek says:

    The Kindle has some good things going for it, but if it wants to distinguish itself as a “new media platform” it needs to start bringing some new things to the table. It needs to integrate an e-book reader, for those who want to read e-books on a carry around device, and it needs to start integrating audio into the platform.

    That’s just my 2 cents. 🙂

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