May 3, 2009

Creating a Completely Customized News & Information Vehicle

Just saw this article, Big Screen Kindle Coming From Amazon This Week posted on engadget and felt compelled to write some quick thoughts. The NY Times posted this article - Looking to Big-Screen E-Readers to Help Save the Daily Press as well.

I made the mistake of answering our door a few weeks ago and found a young man who was trying to sell newspaper subscriptions in order to help pay for college. I got suckered into giving him $10 for a 2 month subscription. Sure enough, every day that newspaper sits in our driveway and immediately gets transferred to our recycling bin. We never even open it. Ever.

Seeing that newspaper every morning really gets me thinking. I feel bad for the newspaper industry - it's a respectable business and industry and technology is chipping away at it's very foundation. As I've said before, I do blame that industry for being so arrogant to think that technology wouldn't transform the business; but when you're working in one of the oldest professions it's hard to believe your entire industry could be in jeopardy.

If Amazon comes out with the larger format of the Kindle, it is a very real possibility that the future of news publishing could be inside. I've always wished that I could take all the topics and editorial pieces; journalists and creatives that I enjoy - that are specifically geared toward my interests and put them all together in my personal, customized newspaper (might need to rename it newsKindle). Every morning I could wake up and all the news that I will be interested in are in one place. I could pull articles from WSJ, NYT, my local paper, as well as articles from some of my favorite online pubs, like TechCrunch & Silicon Alley Insider, and potentially magazines like Fast Company, Inc, Entrepreneur - pull it all together for me. And then, what if I had the option to also bring in my favorite blog subscriptions as well? My stock info, my weather.

Now, I realize none of this is groundbreaking. iGoogle and MyYahoo help aggregate the links - I'd want the actual news articles to be pulled together for me and formatted just like a newspaper (or, find a better format - I hate having to turn to page 4A to read the rest of an article when I'm not done reading the front page). Having something as easy to manage and carry as the Kindle so that it is receiving my news every morning and adding the bonus of no longer having hands smudged with ink sounds pretty great to me.

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