I had the good fortune earlier today to get an email from a reader. Tracey had come across one of my posts from earlier this year and wanted to know if I'd heard anything new. I hadn't, and that is an excellent reason to look at it again.
Back in May I wrote about a new B&N trademark for the term "My Nook". All I knew at the time was that this would be a web portal where you could:
remotely manage, administer and control electronic readers, handheld and computer devices, data, digital media, software applications and electronic publications, namely, books, e-books, magazines, newspapers, text and images
I was right on all accounts. The new portal brings together a number of functions that you could already do on B&N.com and combines them with a nice interface.
So far as I can tell, Barnes & Noble never announced this. The only people that I have found who already knew about it found it by accident. Which is a pity, because B&N included social features that I'm sure people would find useful - if they knew about them.
You might remember that some time back Amazon added social reading features to kindle.amazon.com. Barnes & Noble added similar features a while back. You can tie in your Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail accounts and build a list of "Nook Friends". You can then use this network to borrow and lend ebooks as well as share thoughts about the ebooks you're reading.
At least, I think you can do that; I haven't found any other users yet so I cannot test most of the features.
What's amazing about my network is that I've already given B&N access to my Twitter and gMail accounts. Out of over 4 thousand twitter connections (followers & followees), no one is using Nook Friends. I have hundreds and hundreds of authors following me on twitter as well as 50 or more librarians. You would think some of them would have connected Nook Friends with their Twitter accounts, but no. They're not there.
BTW, I'd bet dollars to donuts that nearly all will have active accounts set up on kindle.amazon.com.
Now, I am exaggerating about Nook Friends being new. It dates back to at least April of this year, and there are Nook owners trying to build a network. But B&N still hasn't suggested that I connect with any of them.
On the other hand, if I hadn't thought to Google the phrase "nook friends" I would never have known that anyone was using it. That's a major #FAIL on the part of B&N.
And that goes double given that Nook Friends is integrated into the Nook Touch itself. You can tweet clippings direct from the Nook Touch once you have attached your Twitter account. But I don't think anyone is using it. A recent search on Twitter found only a handful of tweets from a handful of people. There have to be millions of Nook owners out there and yet there are only a few dozen making use of the social reading features.
BTW, I tweeted from inside an ebook on my Nook Touch. B&N added a link to the product page for the ebook, and adds to the general level of #FAIL. There's no way to continue the discussion; I can only send people to buy the ebook (and piss them off). In comparison, the Kindle sharing leads to the note, not the ebook listing.
Folks, I present to you Nook Friends: the Friendster of social reading.
P.S. If you use Nook Friends, I'd like to be added to your network so I can actually see how it functions. Please leave a comment so we can connect.