Last night, in a fit of inspiration and exhaustion I posted a poll around creating a kindle catcher. As I was tired, I assumed that folks would immediately know what I was thinking based on a sentence, which might be insane. So, without further adieu I present a more thought out plan for what I’m thinking about. I know this is an evolutionary idea more then revolutionary but I think it’s worth discussing. Actually, there are folks that would say going from audio/video to print is devolutionary but whatever.
Back in 2000 Dave Winer added a media enclosure tag to RSS. This simple development gave us Podcasts, Vidcasts, Netcasts, etc. Quite frankly, I feel the media enclosure was one of the most significant development in RSS, allowing people to broadcast media to anyone who wants it.
So, just like a podcast is an RSS feed with attached .mp3 files, a “kindlecast” would be an RSS feed with attached .mobi/.prc or maybe .txt files. A kindle catcher, like a podcatcher, would parse the RSS feed pull down the ebooks. There can also be software to sync the content directly to your kindle. This can all happen without going through Amazon’s distribution model which will make Prof. Emily Walshe very happy, perhaps we can save free speech while using her kindle.
Off the top of my head I can think of a number of use for this:
- Independent Authors can release their books on a feed. They can either release for free (maybe to create buzz), for a fee (with a personalized URL) or work on a donation model (like podiobooks) all without having to run through Amazon. This would work for short stories or chapters. When she did Playing for Keeps as a podcast, Mur Lafferty released a PDF with each episode. Having a feed of Kindle edition books would’ve fit right into the way she was marketing her book.
- News Organizations, Blogs and Magazines who are just looking for people to read their stuff can publish in this methodology. There can be embedded ads (just like a newspaper), or a subscription model via a personalized URL.
- I’m sure there are more. I don’t have a great imagination.
Now that I’ve given some backstory and detail. What do you think?
Edit: Filed the spelling of Dave Winer's Name, Sorry Dave