I’m feeling a bit guilty about yesterday’s Kindle post, which was sarcastic. But since then I’ve been tracking ‘Kindle’ on twitter and I’ve seen no more than two or three positive opinions of the gadget amongst hundreds and hundreds of Kindle-related tweets (my favourite: “my wife wants a Kindle. She’s dead to me now”). And opinions are like arseholes, aren’t they?
Anyway, thinking about it, I’m still full of reservations and questions: why not pre-load it with loads of great books from happy publishers? Why the frankly clumsy pay-to-read model for blogs and newspapers: wouldn’t publishers have jumped at the potential for a really big audience and a rev share on advertising? Why not aim for ubiquity by allowing the thing to read the millions of PDF eBooks that are already out there? Why no social features: share this book, message my friends… Why no special Harry Potter or Dan Brown launch editions? Why nothing to really get your teeth into?
The Kindle – which I really wanted to be a thing of beauty, a lovely package – has made it into the world loaded with compromises and hard-to-grasp niggly bits instead of mind-blowing content and really persuasive ideas.
Its reception – at least from the vocal geeks I’ve been reading – has been almost universally negative and, returning just for a second to my Segway comparison from yesterday, Bezos has some experience of a brand that never recovered from the kicking it got from the early adopters who should have loved it but laughed instead.