You’ve probably read all about Amazon’s e-book reader, the one called Kindle. It’s a nifty little toy with an e-ink screen (no colors), straining the eyes as little as possible. Lots of people are pouring positive PR on it over at Amazon’s Kindle site, in non-embeddable videos (bad Amazon, bad!).
I’m torn about the Kindle. Read more about that over at my blog if you like. This post is about something else.
You see, being an e-book reader would mean that you buy books for it. They cost $9.99, which is a bit on the expensive side, but fine. You can also subscribe to newspapers and magazines, reading them on your Kindle. So far so good, right?
Well, how about subscribing to blogs? Each feed costs $0.99, even if it’s your own (pricing may change/vary – you get the point). I subscribe to 200+ feeds, so that would make it $198+ each month.
First of all: ouch!
Second of all: why pay for a feed that is free online?
“But you get it in your Kindle?” Well, so what? I can get them – in full color – in my mobile phone, for free. Or rather, not free but for the data transfer. And I guess that’s why Amazon is charging for the feed service, since they pay for all the wireless transfer to your Kindle.
Still, no matter how relevant their charge is, why should I pay just to get it in black and white on my Kindle?
I won’t. However, some people might see this as a great way to charge for a blog, so they’ll do premium blogs that’ll only be available if you pay up online, or subscribe to them via Kindle. That assumes that they’ll be able to affect Amazon’s pricing, which I doubt, but it could happen, right?
Well, there’s more. With the Kindle and the crowd I think it’ll attract, I’m guessing bloggers or would be bloggers will consider different ways to sell their content. Serialized books (hey, I’m doing a serialized short story on OrnTales.com – it’s possible!) is one thing, but what happens when you do a serialized magazine on, oh, I don’t know, videogames for instance? And sell the subscription…
Congratulations! You’ve got a premium blog, marketed as something else.
Kindle by itself might not change anything, these are all speculations, thoughts and ramblings. However, the whole concept just might.
I don’t know if I like it.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.