Who’s Sharing Their Highlights?

Author blogger Seth Godin drinking a milk cartoon

There’s another new interesting feature coming in the Kindle’s next software upgrade. Amazon already lets you a type a comment next to any passage in your ebooks, but now Amazon’s offering a way to share those notes publicly, with any fans you may have on the web, according to their Kindle blog. “Any Kindle user…can opt-in to share their thoughts on book passages and ideas with friends, family members, colleagues, and the greater Kindle community of people who love to read.” And besides notes, you can also share material in an ebook which you’ve chosen to highlight. “This is a new way for readers to share their excitement and knowledge about books,” Amazon posted on their blog Monday, “and get more from the books they read.”

What’s really interesting is there’s three people who are already using the feature, according to a special list at kindle.amazon.com. There’s blogger/author Seth Godin (pictured above), who offers some clarification on a passage in his own book, All Marketers are Liars. But there’s also a public note from a man named Douglas Preston — a horror novelist who’s currently reading Laura Hillebrand’s Unbroken. (And the third user is a man named Tom Killalea — who I’m pretty sure is actually an employee of Amazon.com.)

Amazon also has a list of the books of which books have received the most public notes so far. (#1 on the list? Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.) It’s fun to see which books people are most interested in sharing on the web. And besides ranking them by the number of public notes, Amazon also identifies which books are receiving the most highlights (public or private) from their users!

1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (118th most-highlighted book)
2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (34th most-highlighted book)
3. The New Oxford American Dictionary (232nd most-highlighted book)
4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (#1 most highlighted book!)
5. Dracula (71st most-highlighted book)
6. The Girl Who Played With Fire (17th most-highlighted book)
7. Gulliver’s Travels (420th most-highlighted book)
8. Treasure Island (323rd most-highlighted book)
9. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (18th most-highlighted book)
10. Kindle User’s Guide (which suprisingly, is the 295723rd most-highlighted, according to Amazon…)

Amazon’s list keeps going and going — currently they’re showing exactly 2097 books which have been publicly highlighted since this feature became available earlier in the week.

There’ll be some other new features in the Kindle’s next upgrade — like the ability to rate a book instantly when you reach its final page (or get recommendations on related books to read). And Amazon has also improved the layout of newspapers and magazines, so when you’re reading them on the Kindle, you’ll be able to see more than a list of headlines! I’m excited about all the new features, so I’m looking forward to the day Amazon finally decides that it’s ready, and downloads it into our Kindles. But apparently some people are even more excited, and they’ve already downloaded the preview version and started using it!

(And remember, if you’re interested in trying the preview version, point your PC’s web browser to tinyurl.com/getpagenumbers )

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