The most highlighted passages of all time is ….. Wait for it. It’s to be found in a book by Malcolm Gladwell called Outliers. Can one believe this headline? After all it’s slightly misleading in that the concept of ‘all time’ is a touch vague and a bit over the top.
What is meant by ‘All Time? Is this since the first book was published way back when the first printing press jumped into action? Surely not. How could that have been tracked one wonders.
What this headline does refer to is the Kindle. And the Kindle is not exactly an ancient printing press. It is Amazon’s little reader gadget that is a few years old. A quick glance at ye olde faithful Wikipedia tells one that Kindle sales commenced November 19, 2007 in the USA only.
So that does place a slight time constraint on the ‘All Time’ statement.
But that isn’t really the pertinent point that this blog post is about.Â The question that surely should arise in ones mind is “HOW DO THEY KNOW THIS’?
One presumes that this is how the process normally happens. One buys a book, takes it home, scribbles in it or not and the only person who would be able to track what you are doing with your book is you yourself or somebody to whom you lent, gave or sold said book on to.
Now we find out that somebody can track the behaviour of Kindle readers. And as the statistic is being shown on Amazon’s website one might consider that this is where the tracking is happening.
That means if the customer buys an electronic book from Amazon and reads same on a Kindle there is some tracking happening.Â The use of this book and what the reader does to it is watched over by Amazon. How else would they be able to tell us what book has the most highlighted passage of ‘All Time”.
It’s either they keep a link to the Kindle permanently and gather information as soon as the Kindle is linked to Amazon’s site again or the statement is based on some fictional research.
One can’t imagine Amazon sending out a bunch of people with phony smiles and questionnaires on clipboards to shopping malls to get this kind of information.
It’s another little Big Brother moment for sure. As much as we probably feel that we cannot do without the internet sometimes it’s intrusiveness does make one pause. Just for a moment though!