OK, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but there’s a relatively new app/plugin out there in the blogosphere that you need to definitely consider adding to your blog. First off, I have to give proper credit to Rebecca Amy Todd for introducing this lovable little guy to me, and we had a rather lengthy discussion about the possibilities. So hear me out, and listen to why you should use it, and why Amazon needs to hire Rebecca and me to further develop this thing. (Or, at least pay us something for our genius ideas.)
I spend a lot of time writing my blog and also sending it out “there,” (wherever “there” is) to make sure that people can find it and read it. I also want to make sure that my blog is shareable. If people like what I write, I want them to share it with their friends and coworkers. Look around this page and you’ll see that I have made it easy for you to share my work on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, a variety of social bookmarking and discovery sites, and just about anything else you want. At the prodding of my friend Liz Jostes I’ve also added the all-important Buffer button (and one of these days I’ll actually start using Buffer myself).
Additionally, I have an RSS feed that allows you to subscribe to my blog in either an RSS reader or via email. But sadly, the most popular RSS reader, Google Reader, is being shuttered by Google in a few months. That has people scrambling for RSS alternatives, of which Feedly seems to be the front runner among my friends.
Now this is where the new “Send to Kindle” button comes in. If you’re like me, you have a lot of blogs that you like to read, but you can’t always read them right away. That, of course, is the purpose of an RSS Reader. But now you can send individual blog posts to your Kindle in order to read it whenever you have the time. I don’t even have a Kindle, but I do have the free Kindle app on my Android as well as my PC. In fact, despite being a hardcore, die hard lover of real books that you can hold in your hands, I’ve recently read a few books on the Kindle app, including Andy Crestodina’s wonderful Content Chemistry, which I’ll be reviewing here in the near future.
Now, here’s where it all gets interesting, and, I’m sorry, Rebecca, but here’s where I give Amazon some free advice on where to take this from here. I doubt they’ll pay us anyway, so we can just pretend that we’ll make gazillions.
With Google Reader going away, Amazon should take the “Send to Kindle” app and expand it beyond individual articles and posts. Let us subscribe to entire blogs so that we get those posts every time they publish, just like an RSS Reader.
The beauty of all of this? It helps Amazon sell more Kindles. Plus it fills a void being left by Google. Opportunity knocks.
I’m not rocket scientist, but I would bet that one of the biggest hurdles in getting people to purchase Kindles is the whole love of physical books thing. Those of us who are book lovers, and are, shall I say, in the “older” demographics, are slow to adopt electronic technology and devices. If you can find a way to get me to use your device in a less threatening way, I might just use it and buy it. And once I buy it, I’m more likely to spend my hard earned cash at Amazon on ebooks. Amazon is already reporting a growth in sales, and that much of that growth is due to the Kindle and e-books. If you get me more comfortable with that concept, I might just play along. If I’m happy reading individual blog posts on the Kindle app or actual Kindle device, I’ll be more likely to purchase long form books as well.
Having said that, there is already a way to subscribe to blogs via Kindle. But it isn’t free. Several years ago, Amazon rolled out monthly subscriptions to blogs for 99-cents. I signed up. The blog you are reading now can be delivered to your Kindle every day for just 99-cents. Go figure! But, here’s the rub: despite being available at such a great rate, not a single person has subscribed to my blog that way in the two or more years that it’s been offered. Heck, I wouldn’t subscribe. I’m cheap. Why should I pay for something I can get for free.
So, Amazon, I’m giving you the idea that Rebecca and I had, and I’m giving it to you for free. We’ll forsake our gazillions in exchange for a great user experience. Add a more RSS-like feature to your “Send to Kindle” button, and allow us to subscribe to entire blogs and have them delivered hot, fresh, and free to us every day.
And, bloggers: install the “Send to Kindle” button on your site, and give readers another really good option for consuming your content. This might be my new favorite way of reading blogs.
Have you tried the “Send to Kindle” button yet? What other features are you looking for in a sharing/reading app?
- 3 Great Alternatives to Google Reader (techtalk.currys.co.uk)
- The Basics Of Corporate Blogging (soulati.com)
- Mourning the Loss of Google Reader: What now?! (marijeanjaggers.com)
- Is Social Media a Priority for Your Small Business or Nonprofit? (inklingmedia.net)
- The Many Uses of #Hashtags (inklingmedia.net)