Sunday, August 30, 2009

Love my Kindle2 - but the Amazon Kindle forum and feedback loop stinks

First let me start by saying I love my Kindle2 which I've had for 2+ weeks now.  Also I just finished reading the book "Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies" on my Kindle which drives some of my frustration about Amazon, their Kindle community and feedback that end I left the post below on their main Kindle community forum page.

Couple of quick things related to the Kindle, the Community and the feedback mechanism
  1. I've had my new kindle for 2+ weeks now and really enjoy the kindle.
  2. You've got a great product and it has viral effects...I've shared my thoughts and let no less than 2 dozen people hear me / see my kindle since I've owned my Kindle2.
  3. My key point about this one is YOU Amazon need to read the book Groundswell which I've just read.  Just in case you don't know of the book I've inserted a link :-). "Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies"
  4. It is ridiculous that finding this forum is difficult.
  5. Users who own a kindle should be able to provide recommendations, and see other recommendations (feedback) on this community.  You can still accept emails from your customers and post them to the community, but then at least we can all rate them and help you in future product improvements.  As an example I really liked one posters comment about reducing the 'slip' factor by placing some rubber on the back edges of the reader so it doesn't slip out of your hands. If you had a rating factor I would have rated that feature. That rating coupled with other Kindle owners rating could then be applied in your decisions about future product development plans.

Now for some feedback on the Kindle 2
  1. Automatically turn the kindle to off mode if it has been in sleep longer than 15 minutes.  If you don't we will likely have screen burn-in, not to mention it drains the battery!
  2. Let me push books to my wish list when I'm reviewing from the kindle store on my kindle device.  I don't want to buy the books I see every time, but there are some that look interesting that I may want to purchase later.
  3. Give me an option to archive items after I'm done reading them.  Or, at least give me an option to create 'Read' folders so that it helps me keep the 'Home' menu clean.
  4. Tied with the point above - Let me delete Samples from the device after I've read them, or if I've downloaded the book let me delete the Sample.
  5. Related to the 'Sample' feature.  If I download a Sample tag that and index where I left off within the 'Sample' to the actual book if I download.  I've read a couple of books now this way and it is frustrating to get into a good book only to have to 'Next page' continuously to find where I left off reading the 'Sample'.
  6. I just saw how to delete 'Samples' - not an intuitive any means.  I accidentally clicked on the navigation button and saw I can 'Delete This Sample'.  You let me 'Buy This Book Now' from the menu, but you don't let me delete....
  7. To an earlier point, let me categorize / create my own folders.  I would like to be able to start the morning and flip to my newspaper folder read all the newspapers, then over to my blog folder.  This can be an optional feature...if users don't enable they retain the laundry list sorting they have now, but tagging and organizing content would make life easier IMHO.
  8. Let me offer feedback directly from my kindle where I'm probably going to come up with the ideas / feedback anyway.  I get the free ability to shop the Amazon store from my device, but I can't send you feedback...that is crazy!
  9. Give me the ability to lock my device just like my cell phone.  I would hate to lose my kindle or have it stolen...but to make it worse if it were stolen, users could buy as many books as they wanted and I'd be screwed.  If I do forget my password, let me reset it from my kindle, but disable the ability to purchase from the store until I reset my account via the website.
  10. Make the keys a bit bigger.  I'm young (early 30's), but the buttons are still small for someone who types a lot on my iPhone and computer you could make better use of the empty space on the bottom but before the screen, plus you have a bit of extra space still on the left.
  11. Give me some type of option or setting to turn off the 'Next Page' button on the left of my screen.  I maybe the only person to ask for this one, but being right handed and using my mouse to navigate back all the time I think of the buttons on the left as 'Back' buttons.
  12. Respond to your users when they give you least an automated message that you received my last email would be nice.

Again, after only a few weeks the Kindle is one of my favorite technology devices and travel with it all the time.  I hope to help you continue your future product lines and look forward to debate and conversation on the forum, etc.


Bryan Karp
- midnitecoder


  1. The Amazon Kindle's screen works completely differently from the other screen's you've seen -- so screen burn-in isn't possible. As for the other suggestions -- let fly!

    /josh bernoff, coauthor, Groundswell

  2. Josh -

    My apologies I didn't respond earlier. Thanks for the comment and thanks for the book, I really enjoyed Groundswell.

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