Thu 21 November 2019
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Kobo, Tumblr, and Readmill Discuss Social Reading at BEA
obo’s lead UX guy Tony O’Donoghue joined Tumblr and Readmill to explore the concept of social reading

While Kobo was busy announcing its new self-publishing venture at BEA today, Kobo’s lead UX guy Tony O’Donoghue joined Tumblr and Readmill to explore the concept of social reading.

Kobo is the leader in reading apps when it comes to extra features like reading badges and user analytics. O’Donoghue explained how Kobo Pulse, which lets readers comment on the text, chat with each other, and view aggregated reader stats, is designed to take advantage of the innately social nature of mobile devices, and he quoted McLuhan’s “the medium is the message” to argue that it’s a mistake to assume the reading device doesn’t affect the way a reader experiences the ebook.

Henrik Berggren, CEO and founder of the German company Readmill, said that he preferred the phrase “shared reading” to “social reading,” and argued against transforming books from solo experiences to social ones. To that end, Readmill is an ereader app (currently iPad only) that lets readers share highlights and annotations, but it deliberately separates all sharing activity from the text. You can view your own notes within the app via a sidebar, or you can swap out yours to view someone else’s, but you can’t see everyone’s at the same time, and all other sharing activity is relegated to a companion website.

For the rest of the article

The Digital Reader


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