Monthly Archives: December 2010

Kindle Lending

Amazon has turned on a new feature: Kindle Lending.

Another reason to make the switch to e-books for your fiction, non-fiction and textbook needs.
There are definitely still improvements to be made in the e-book and e-reader world.
Most notably, the still rather limited library of available books. But as the months pass more publishers are releasing selected titles, making the e-reader an exponentially advantageous device.

I have been waiting for the availability to loan out my e-books to friends with a Kindle, and while Amazon’s current Kindle Lending concept is a step in the right direction, there is still quite a ways to go.

A Kindle book is eligible for a 14-day loan period (reminiscent of library check-outs) but each book can only be loaned once. I think this is a bit too limiting.  I understand the publishers don’t want to deal with illegal reproduction, but if it is your legally purchased copy I think you should be able to loan it out multiple times (some industry tech writers are suggesting 5 loans per book is reasonable).  Another component is that if you have an e-book loaned out you cannot access it on your device. Much like if your hard copy was sitting on your friend’s nightstand then it wouldn’t be on your bookshelf for you to peruse.

Lending rights are up to the publisher, so not all books are lending enabled. This feature is noted in the product details on Amazon.

At this point the fact the e-book lending concept is being addressed, and presented in some limited fashion, means we’re working towards finding a place that hopefully makes both the publishers and readers content.

Here’s a great HOW TO: Use Amazon’s New Kindle Lending Feature from Mashable.

 

Photo Credit

Advertisements

The World Map of Social Networks

World Map of Social Networks

Vincos Blog post highlights the changing landscape of social networks from June 2009 to the present.   The most recent map, December 2010, was just released according to Alexa and Google Trends for Websites.

As we seek to stay abreast of new platforms and engaged with our students in the social media world it is important we understand where our students come from, both literally and figuratively. While Facebook is the most popular social network in the US, that is not the case in Brazil, Japan and China. True that Facebook is continually reaching the #1 position in more countries each month (just compare the charts for the past 18 months), but in places like China Facebook (as well as other social media sites) is still blocked.

If your institution has Facebook groups for the incoming class, or other pre-term campus activities, how do you include students in Japan who are on Mixi but don’t have a Facebook profile? Or in China where your incoming student group can’t log on to www.facebook.com? It’s important to find ways to engage your entire community so all students feel included in your online discussions.  It may be possible to encourage students to join Facebook after they arrive on campus but don’t underestimate the importance of reaching out and communicating with your new students before they arrive for orientation.

Just like we don’t want to see every country speaking the same language, diversity in social media platforms is good. While it may take you a bit more work to create online groups across different platforms it will be worth the effort when your new students from those countries see your institution took the time to sign up and engage with them on their own social platform.

If you’re not familiar with how a social network popular in another country works (or don’t speak the primary language it is written in) hire a current student from that country to manage the account and engage with those incoming or current students. Not only are you making the effort to create a presence on the social network by having an institutional profile (marketing and branding your school) you’re encouraging your new students to engage with their peers who share a similar cultural background. The outcome is win-win as you’ll be building your brand image across countries and lasting friendships on your campus.