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A Nook Owner Tests the Kindle Platform; How HuffPo Is Making Money Off Comments


[1]By Brian Howard and James Sturdivant

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.” [2] 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 [3]  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 Amazon.com’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 [4]

Gosh Darn if That Doesn’t Make Sense

[5]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!

Well, the Huffington Post and parent company AOL may have just figured it out. A new “conversations” feature, written about today at paidContent.org [6], identifies and breaks out specific conversations from within the thousands of comments HuffPo articles generate, allowing visitors to read (and add to) conversation threads on a separate Web page. Huffington Post CTO John Pavley told Paid Content that ads from AOL will be served alongside these conversations, allowing for targeting of highly-engaged readers.

Think about it: people on all sides of the Manti Te’o debate [7] can have their unique predilections catered to! OK, maybe not the best example. But you get the point.

James Sturdivant [8] 

* This post [9] originally appeared on the website of Book Business magazine, a TeleRead sister publication.

4 Comments (Open | Close)

4 Comments To "A Nook Owner Tests the Kindle Platform; How HuffPo Is Making Money Off Comments"

#1 Comment By Juli Monroe On January 29, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

I don’t own a Simple Touch, so I haven’t tested it, but it’s supposed to be fairly easy to root and install the Kindle app on it. Both ecosystems in one device. As far as I can tell, you can’t do the same with the Kindle Touch.

#2 Comment By Gbm On January 29, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

“I liked that I could see what the most highlighted passages were. I appreciated that I could share quotes on Facebook.”

Those are things that I do not care for in an ereader.


#3 Comment By Vicki On January 29, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

You can install the Nook app on any Kindle Fire. Without rooting it.

#4 Comment By Juli Monroe On January 30, 2013 @ 8:27 am

Vicki, very true, and I know lots of people who install various e-reader apps on their Fires.