Amazon is slowly starting to open up the Kindle

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: founder an...
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A few months back I wrote about the need for Amazon to begin ‘socializing’ the Kindle.  Another item of frustration that I forgot to mention in that post was the inability to pull my notes and highlights from the kindle via the web.  I As of this morning, however, Amazon has enabled web access to notes and highlights.  Techcrunch notes:

Kindle Notes And Highlights Now Accessible On the Web

While this opens up all sorts of possibilities, Amazon is taking a very conservative approach. You can’t share your notes with others. You can’t even edit them in your browser. All you can do is read them.

I just logged in to check on my Kindle books, and can only find highlights and notes for two books. Hopefully all the notes will be online soon so I can, at minimum, cut and paste them into Evernote or another application.

This is progress, but Amazon still needs to socialize the entire book reading experience!

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Ratan Tata gets it

MUMBAI, INDIA - MARCH 23:  Ratan Naval Tata Ch...
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For all the buzz that Tata’s release of the Nano received last year,  the long term impact of the company’s new venture may be even greater.  The sprawling Tata empire, loosely held together by Ratan Tata, recently announced a plan to build affordable housing for India’s burgeoning middle class.  Here’s an excerpt from BusinessWeek:

Tata’s Nano Home: Company behind world’s cheapest car to sell $7,800 apartments – BusinessWeek

Tata, the Indian company that made worldwide headlines with its $2,000 Nano car, now plans to build 1,000 tiny apartments outside Mumbai that will sell for $7,800 to $13,400 each. The company plans to roll out low-cost projects outside other major cities.

Tata’s housing division is targeting a segment of the market that was largely overlooked during the housing boom. India’s builders were concentrating on building shiny new high rises and mansions on golf courses. Builders were after profits, but they were also trying to justify their fast-accelerating land costs, especially in and around Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) and other major cities.

As a Cornell trained architect, Ratan Tata clearly understands the value of creating spaces that foster a sense of being and community.  Like the Nano, the Shubh Griha community probably won’t attract the well connected, wealthy Indian, rather it is meant to serve as another building block for the rising Indian middle class.  This is the real growth market in India, this is the market that will truly shape the India of tomorrow.  Ratan Tata gets it.

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East Gallatin River at Cherry FAS, near Bozema...
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I can’t believe it’s May ’09 already.  You’ve probably noticed that this weblog has been pretty silent over the last three months.  This has to do with several significant changes for us.  Those of you who follow my twitter feed know that I’ve actually been very busy during that period.  The short story, we’ve moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after I accepted a great position with RightNow Technologies.  So, now I’ll explain a little bit more as to what the change means and why I’m excited to be in the valley and at RightNow.

From a work perspective, the last four years or so were some of the most interesting, and challenging, in my career.  I was fortunate to have learned so much from the bright people at Serviceware and Knova.  After four years, however, it was time to move on.  My original plan was to go independent and explore the next phase of emerging technologies, with a particular emphasis on understanding the impact of social media on large organizations.  Late last year, however, I found myself speaking with an ex-Knova colleague about these ideas and he recommended that I speak to the team at RightNow.  I did, and over the ensuing months became convinced that the RightNow platform, management and culture were a great fit for the next stage of my career.  So, I accepted the position of Customer Experience Strategist at RightNow.

The company also asked that I consider a move to Silicon Valley, the center of the action.  An interesting side note, for those of you who may not follow RightNow, is that the company is actually based in Bozeman, MT (picture of the Bozeman area above).  While I wasn’t exactly interested in making a move to Montana,  the fact that the company had a powerbase outside of the valley bubble was intriguing.  To me this was an interesting combination, and one that felt right.

What does this mean for this blog?  Well, I’ll be back writing about the things that interest me.  I’ll also spend more time working through ideas and thoughts on how the next phase of technology will impact companies and their customers.  Over the next few days, however, look for several book reviews.

Now that I’m based in the valley, I hope to be involved in many more industry events and I will be writing about those experiences as well.  I hope this blog will continue to serve as a journal through this next phase of my career.

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