Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
When I read a book, I tend to do a lot of highlighting. I like to share many of them. I’m currently reading Keith Richard’s biography Life and you can see the public sharing in action right now on my tumblog.For years, when I came across a highlight I want to share, I pulled out my laptop and manually typed the quote into Tumblr. I do that with hardbacks, paperbacks, and the Kindle app on my iPad. It’s a pain in the butt, but the desire to share the quote is such that I’ve been doing it.
I was with my friend Steven Johnson yesterday and he told me about a trick that is a game changer for me and maybe you too. When you are reading on a Kindle (or a Kindle app), your highlights are sent to a private page at Amazon.com. The address of my page is https://kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights. If you have a kindle and do a lot of highlighting, go visit that page and you’ll see all of your highlights.
From there, via the tumblr bookmarklet, it’s trivial to share the quote on Tumblr. And so I suspect I’ll be doing quite a bit more sharing as a result of this discovery.
Amazon has a gold mine on its hands but they aren’t doing much with it right now. First off, they should let me make that page public or at least let me make some of the highlights public and showcase them on a public page. They should let me domain map that page so it becomes part of my social media presence. And they should let me connect that page with Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who does a lot of highlighting and would like to share many of the highlights with the world at large. Curation is a huge part of social media and discovery and pulling quotes from books and sharing them is a big opportunity and one that Amazon should work to unlock for us.
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