Kindlers can now follow their fellow tweeters' Public Notes, but still have to go elsewhere for lending and borrowing e-books
Over the weekend, Kindle users started tweeting about Amazon's Kindle site's new social networking component, which integrates the e-reader's Public Notes feature with Twitter and Facebook contacts. Many readers are already grumbling about the integration going too far. As Tim Carmody puts it:
The new way is a little bit creepy -- particularly since there doesn't seem to have been any announcement from Amazon that they were changing how social media links were going to be used. (Amazon representatives haven't responded to my requests for comment.)
It's also a little bit creepy that the default for linking social media networks is set to broadcast your Public Notes activity on those networks to all your friends and followers. That option at least can be shut off; auto-adding the people you follow can't. If you link your Kindle public notes to Twitter or Facebook because you would occasionally like to share a passage or note from a book you're reading, you're stuck auto-following everybody else who wants to do the same.
Creepy is right. Hopefully Amazon will give users more discretion over whom we're following and with whom we're sharing, something like what Google+ is trying to do for status updates.
But creepiness aside, my real disappointment is that there's still no social network integration with the Kindle e-lending feature, something that would let me enter a title of a book I'd like to read and then see who in my network has it to lend to me. The reason for this seems obvious -- why would Amazon want to create a massive lending pool that would likely lead to people buying fewer books on its site?