B&N Launches World’s Smallest Social Network (Population: Only Me)
There are times where you have to admire B&N for their ground breaking work into new programs and features for the Nook.
Sometime in the past few months they launched MyNook.com, a new portal where you can manage and share details about your Nook ebooks. But Barnes & Noble did something that no one else would even have considered doing. They didn’t tell anyone about it. I think they just invented an avant-garde feature that will be all the rage next year. Why try to build the biggest social network when you can instead make the smallest?
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
My guess at the time was that it would work similar to kindle.amazon.com and it would be anchored at MyNook.com.
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.
Doug November 28, 2011 um 8:01 pm
Just about every NOOK owner who’s had to manage their e-book library online has been to mynook. B&N took away the old e-book library management system and replaced it with mynook back in August.
Of course, this is B&N so the new and wonderful mynook had less capability than the old e-book library system. For one thing, the e-book wish list is no longer directly accessible, but I guess that’s okay since the NOOK Simple Touch doesn’t synchronize the device’s e-book wish list with the online e-book wish list. They removed the "date purchased" information, dumped the "descending" sort options, and removed the ability to show just the sample e-books so you could quickly delete the ones you didn’t want any longer. And it’s no longer a problem, but initially the site was at mynook.com and so it didn’t share log-in cookies with barnesandnoble.com — you got the joy of re-logging in if you wanted to mess with your e-book library.
It says here they also made your real name visible to anyone you accepted as a "friend". I don’t know if that was true and/or if it’s still the case, but that upset some people who didn’t want their Internet friends knowing their IRL names.
A lot of NOOK users, including me, stayed away from mynook.com unless it was absolutely necessary to go there to manage the e-book library. I suspect that a bunch more have no interest in the social stuff because they’re readers, not socializers. In that regard, I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t help that the social stuff was functional only on the Simple Touch Reader, which is aimed at people who only want an e-reader and not a networking device. Wrong market.
Nate Hoffelder November 28, 2011 um 8:29 pm
No wonder the social aspects aren’t being used. Thanks!
Nate Hoffelder November 28, 2011 um 8:32 pm
BTW, not all Nook owners have been there. The reader who asked me about it had not, and I also heard from a number of Nook owners over at MobileRead who had never heard of it. (They use calibre and buy ebooks elsewhere.)
James Day November 28, 2011 um 10:34 pm
I am on NOOK Friends if you want to add me.
Leslie D. November 30, 2011 um 4:43 am
I would like to connect with other Nook readers. I just got my Nook Touch a few days ago. I tried the my Nook feature at work, but didn’t get anywhere. It seems like a great idea once we get a lot more people using it.
Barnes & Noble Expands into South America? – The Digital Reader February 27, 2012 um 2:01 pm
[…] approach – launch the new service but not tell anyone. That’s what they did with their social network, and that looks to be how Barnes & Noble just opened up their ebookstore over the weekend. I […]