Why has no one started making custom Kindle homepages?

Everyone's talking to day about Kinstant, a website that has been customized to act as a homepage for your Kindle browser. It's at www.kinstant.com, and like you'd expect it has quite a few news, email, shopping, etc sites that you can visit from your Kindle. I don't like it, actually. It has a lot of links that I don't want to use; as far as I'm concerned they're just cluttering up the page. I'd much rather make my own page with just the links I want to use.

I could make that home page and then turn it into an ebook, but I think it would be more interesting to create custom Kindle homepages.

Update: I need to clarify something. I don't want to just make a page. I'm proposing a service that lets people make their own Kindle homepage, which the service will then host. I think it would be useful.

Is anyone doing this or anything like this yet? If not, who wants to take a stab at it?

P.S. Let me know how it turns out.

About Nate Hoffelder (11481 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

8 Comments on Why has no one started making custom Kindle homepages?

  1. Well, apparently the Kindle 3 User-Agent string is

    Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; en-US) AppleWebKit/528.5+ (KHTML, like Gecko, Safari/538.5+) Version/4.0 Kindle/3.0 (screen 600×800; rotate)

    so perhaps this could map nicely to the mobile version of some sites which I suspect _might_ be more suitable for Kindle (and there are mobile web site plugins for a variety of CMS systems such as WordPress, Drupal etc)

    Just a thought.

  2. That’s a good idea…
    have you tried https://sites.google.com/

    you can very easily create your own main page, with the links you prefer, and then set it as your kindle homepage.

    To be honest, I seldom use the kindle web browser, and I always use my normal home page, arranged by collections (books in english, spanish, books already read, manuals, etc.).

    • That’s a possibility, but it takes a fair amount of work to create a site. It would be better to develop somehting on the point and click level.

  3. I’m confused. Why would this tool exist *specifically* for the Kindle? Aren’t there already at least 10 drag-and-drop homepage creators out there?

  4. Hey everyone – I’m the developer of Kinstant. Great feedback, and I’m seeing similar comments from a lot of people, which tells me that 1) people find it useful, but 2) they’d find it a lot more useful if it wasn’t constrained to a few websites. I’m working on a new project to address that, something closer to the custom home page concept.

    Jeff, to answer your question: yes, there are plenty of these services for PCs (Pageflakes comes to mind) but the Kindle has constraints that make them cumbersome to use. Too much AJAX, not enough color contrast, tiny fonts… all conspire to make these off-the-shelf solutions difficult to use.

    • Hey Sherwood,

      That’s good news. I really do like the idea; it’s just that the way it is now doesn’t work for me.

  5. I developed a home page of highly-specific, religiously themed, and manually-selected sites that work well on the Kindle browser, both for my own use and for anyone else who stumbles on it.

    I used the Blogger feature to create a static “Page” on my blog (as differentiated from a regular blog entry) and have the links on that page. The next step was to use tiny.cc to create a custom short-URL that is easy to remember for quick-access: http://tiny.cc/cr4k .

    While I doubt that most readers here would be interested in the content, I hope it provides one example of how to go about making a custom/shared Kindle homepage.

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