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Publishing Idea #7: Digging Deeper in Data

March 31, 2010

If/when TypeTribe gets big, it will be a wealth of information for writers, readers, and publishers beyond its intended use. Cases in point: Google culls a wealth of information from searches so that when you start to search for something, it autocompletes your search with suggestions from other common things people are searching for. On the same note, the online dating site OkCupid provides users and potential users useful graphs and charts about things like the most effective profile photos.

In a recent blog post, Paul Lamere wrote about how Amazon should be using and providing a lot more information about how people interact with different books on the Kindle. He suggests using the data from Amazon’s Whispersync platform to let the general book-buying public the actual experiences that people have with different books. Here are some examples from Lamere’s blog:

  • Pageturner – the top books ordered by average number of words read per reading session.
  • Burning the midnight oil – books that keep people up late at night.
  • Most Re-read – which books are read over and over again?
  • Trophy Books – books that are most frequently purchased, but never actually read.
  • A turn for the worse – which books are most frequently abandoned in the last third of the book?  These are the books that go bad.

Lamere’s list is much longer than that, and it’s fantastic. Sure, you could poll people for this same information, but the sample size would be so small. With the Kindle you could have immediate access to the way millions of people interact with their books, and you, Consumer Joe, could make purchase decisions based on that. Pretty brilliant, Lamere.

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