Socially Fixing Amazon Kindle Reader
Using amazon kindle social sharing feature right now is a waste of time. We can fix it though… but first, here’s what currently happens with the SHARE.
You highlight your text in the book you’re currently reading, click share, pick twitter of Facebook, and off it goes. Great! Well no. If you look at the tweet, all that you’re left with is an anonymous link to amazon.
“Hey guys, look at this… terrible url… which I promise is a really clever quote… from a book… also not mentioned…”
Yeah, this makes me want to buy a book or embark on a passionate conversation about the book I’m reading that maybe someone else in the twitterverse/fb land also read and would like to talk about.
First, a hack around the “problem” on the twitter side (I avoid fb largely). Create a second twitter account that just has these kindle shared urls dumped into it. Write a script that follows this account. When it gets the tweet, a quick regex confirm it is the appropriate format of an amazon tweet-highlight-share, then retrieve the url. Parsing the html pulled back from Amazon might be terrible, I haven’t looked. Anyway, parse out the bits you want, format as you’d like, and then have it tweeted from you MAIN account that you also have an API hook into. Simple no? Well, not trivial… but not INSANELY COMPLICATED to be sure.
Related, this is what a properly formatted tweet from amazon SHOULD look like… Throw ‘em the bone for the 28 characters of their crappy url. That leaves us with 116 to play with. What do we want to include? Some segment of our highlight and the name of the book? Basically, we need an (arbitrary it would seem) chunk of our 116 for title and highlight. What about mentioning author? Or hashtag? We might be doomed… Let’s see what we get… Damn again. Need quotes. We lost two more characters. Oh no again… there more for ellipses at the end of our concatenated quote. Things are looking BAD! Pull up! Mountainside. Too close! Pull Up! [Ok, so maybe I can see why they didn’t dick too much with this… but still… they didn’t even try.]
“Out of the blackness of the ward, a half-open file drawer of pain each bed a folder, come cr…” Gravity’s Rainbow amzn.com/k/1Z1B8PFZSZGWT
That’s what we get with no hashtag. But do to the overwhelming popularity (inevitable) of this solution, we all agree that #eread is the ONE TRUE HASHTAG.
“Out of the blackness of the ward, a half-open file drawer of pain each bed a folder, co…” Gravity’s Rainbow amzn.com/k/1Z1B8PFZSZGWT #eread
So in this model, amazon still gets the traffic. Hell, they’d probably get more traffic. Going to that page, you would have not only the full quote but also links to BUY the goddamn book (which is, I believe, what they like to do). Maybe it even has more links over to 1) the #eread hashtag search on twitter, 2) forums for the particular author or book, 3) the usual noise for people who read - X- also read Y 4) follow the author on twitter, and of course 5) follow @kindle or whatever on twitter.
tl;dr - Kindle, I want to share. Please let me. You’ll make money off of it.
(Also, I’m not a pompous ass poseur using Gravity’s Rainbow as a pompous ass poseur example — I’m reading it again. On the kindle. Though you can’t actually BUY it for the kindle. I’ve read the book many times. I really don’t know what its about… other than many things. It makes me happy to read. If I am a pompous ass poseur, its for other reasons…)