Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hands-on: Forwarding a passage or note from the Kindle via free 3G wireless

Use your Kindle 2 to send free Tweets over Sprint's 3G network

Betanews' Tim Conneally points out that:
' ...owners of the Amazon Kindle can manually update the software of their E-readers to Version 2.5, and can start Tweeting. This is especially useful because the Kindle has a free connection to Sprint's 3G network, and you post semi-standalone Tweets (I'll explain further) or links to longer text segments. '

Once you have Kindle v2.5.x installed, you can go to Menu/Settings, then choose "Social Networks" to "Manage" (click on that word on the Kindle) and choose whether you'd like to link your Kindle to Twitter or Facebook or both of them.

After choosing at least one to link, then you can start a highlight on any passage in one of your books (either Amazon or non-Amazon), then don't click to end it but look at the bottom to see that you can press alt-enter or alt-return on the Kindle to 'share' the highlight.  Then you're given a box to type a small intro -- you get only 100 characters or so for the intro.  If your quoted passage is from a non-Amazon book, you might want to name the book or document, as Amazon doesn't.

SAVE what you typed in (watch the number of characters left in the bottom left of the box), and off it goes to Facebook and/or Twitter.

Here is Conneally's dark image of his screen showing what this process looks like. He adds:
' Of course, you don't have to even link to text from the book you're reading. You can simply add a text annotation to your book and share that, just start typing and hit "save and share." '

Here's the result at the Amazon page linked to by his Facebook message.

He ends with
' As you can see, that text is also presented with a link and hashtag, so your space is limited.  But since the Kindle has a free connection to Sprint's 3G network, it's easy to overlook such a shortcoming when you can freely send updates wherever there's coverage. '

  I later sent a brief highlight and usual note from the Kindle to Facebook and this is the Amazon page result linked to by the Facebook intro.  A Facebook result is shown earlier in my intro to software update v2.5.x.  Here's that Amazon page result that was linked from the Facebook page.  The quote can be a quite a few more lines longer.

Almost as soon as I lift my hand from the Kindle 'Save,' the forwarded note is at Facebook and Amazon.

  Next time I'll try starting a blank note from a mostly blank page of a book.

Check often:  Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. I noticed that if you link both your Twitter and Facebook accounts in the Social Networks setting, then when you send a shared highlight the message is sent to *both* Twitter and Facebook. There currently is not an option to select a specific Social Network when sending a shared highlight

  2. Right. I don't link Twitter. But the option is unlinking one of them when you want to send to only one of the two, I think.

  3. Why haven't there been posts lately? I'm thirsting to know more!

  4. John,
    Hey, have a heart. I missed only Thursday and have been busily reading and replying on the Amazon forums (and living) and will report back later today :-)

    I try to do two if I miss a day and we'll see.

    Thanks for reading.

  5. John,
    I've been updating the full-web access article for those in other countries, as it goes. And made a copy for Kindle edition subscribers too.

    Most in the U.S. won't be interested in that. But those outside the U.S. are pretty excited to find the full-access we take for granted (even if it is slow).

  6. I believe there is a limit to the size of the passage that can be quoted. I highlighted a whole page and shared it via Twitter, but when I went to check it out, only about 1/2 of it was there on the Amazon quote page. Does anyone know what the limiting size of the passage can be? I think at least a half a page or so is fine (on text size 3).

  7. Anonymous,
    Hard to say. Some publishers limit how much you highlight. Others have no limit.

    And the Facebook/Twitter passage-highlighting is something I haven't seen a limit, for but of course there must be one. Interesting... Maybe try a whole page in a public domain book and see what it does...


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