Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kindle Reading (part 2) / the Lack of Progress in Information Sharing

I continue to enjoy reading on the Kindle tremendously. Without sitting with a stop watch, I'd estimate it's easily in use for 1 - 2 hours a day and has made reading long form articles enjoyable again. This ties, in my mind, to the fact that there are no distractions - no outbound links to click, no flashing text to follow, and no chance to sneak a peak at the inbox to see what might have come in. The depth of long form articles is also the best way to learn - 120 characters, or even 200 words cannot communicate the subtleties of what's going on in the EU, or how life in Haiti has progressed over the last year - and therefore I would consider this a positive development.

What I begin to wonder about though is the realization that the internet is hyped as multi-media, and that this type of content is meant to become interactive online. Since picking up the Kindle nearly 2 weeks ago, I have only had two instances where I feel that I'm missing out on content due to its text bound limits. There have been a few stunning video clips that I've wanted to watch - Obama's speech in Arizona, or this video on NYC Underground - but clearly the black and white slow refreshing kindle can't oblige me there. I also just came across a NYT's interactive piece with pictures and audio interviews. Again, same problem.

In the grand scheme of things, I merely hit the Boxee "watch later" button and when I'm next on my TV enjoy the videos there, or click through the interactive feature on my laptop. What I am startled at, however, is that I've only encountered this issue three times in two weeks - has news / information distribution really only become digital text? It would seem that the wonders of the internet still haven't filtered through to establishments of the old media world. But, looking at a news source that is new media - huffington post for example - reveals much the same. Can this therefore lead to the conclusion that we, as consumers of news / information, simply have a preference that content is delivered via text? Again, the rise of cable news channels disputes this. While I'm not sure of the cause, I do find it remarkable that there has been no real innovation in this area, but rather only small tweaks to where the revenues come from, or how the news is gathered. I am curious to see if some of the tablet "magazines" manage to push the ball forward, or if this will remain an area ready for change.

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