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Thursday
May122011

This Lamp Now Available for Kindle Subscription

I'd like to take a quick moment to announce that my blog here at This Lamp is now available for Kindle subscription from Amazon. For 99¢ a month, you can have the most recent posts on This Lamp wirelessly delivered to your Kindle as they're updated.

Now the first question some of you may ask is "Why would I want to pay 99¢ for something I can already get for free?" (that's assuming, of course, you're not asking the more fundamental question, "Why would I want to read This Lamp at all?"). Well, that is a good question (the first one, not the parenthetical one), and the reality is that most people will not want or need to subscribe. This is merely an option that may be a convenience for some readers who might have a busy schedule—and receiving a digest version of multiple posts, directly to their Kindle, will allow for greater ease and portability. For instance, if you're like me, you may often let your Kindle read books and magazines to you while you drive. I do this regularly with Time Magazine on the Kindle or with articles I've clipped and sent to Instapaper.

This is merely another option for distributing This Lamp. Amazon sets the price, not me, and I have no plans to make any significant money on this venture. You'll have to decide whether or not it's worth the cost to you. If you're unsure, here's the good news: the subscription is on a month-to-month basis, so if you decide it's not for you or not worth the cost, you can cancel at any time. I have set a goal to have at least three posts a week on average, although there will sometimes be more and rarely less, I hope moving forward. Sometime later this year or perhaps next year, I may launch an audio podcast version of This Lamp that will feature an interactive discussion of the topics from the previous week. That won't be any time in the immediate future, but stay tuned.

Amazon actually offers a number of blogs for subscription on the Kindle, and you can add yours, too, as a convenience for some of your readers. In regard to the content, Amazon states,

"Kindle blogs are fully downloaded onto your Kindle so you can read them even when you're not wirelessly connected. And unlike RSS readers which often only provide headlines, blogs on Kindle give you full text content and images, and are updated wirelessly throughout the day."


Yes, I know most RSS feeds provide more than just headlines, but I didn't write that.

I had to subscribe to my own blog to see how it looked on the Kindle. I've actually been fairly impressed that it captures graphics and retains formatting such as bold and italics. External links are retained such as URLs that will launch the Kindle browser. Images can be enlarged, too.

As always, anything on a Kindle looks best when looking in person at the device, but here are a couple of screenshots to give you the idea of how This Lamp is formatted on the Kindle:

A recent post. Notice the retention of bold and italics.

Above is a standard page seen when reading any post. Note the retention of bold and italics, as well as different fonts and external links. The title of the next article is listed at the bottom as well as an option to view all available posts.

There is an "Articles List" view similar to that in Kindle magazine subscriptions.

The Articles List above acts as a table of contents. There are three articles listed on three pages for a total of nine articles in this edition. If a post contained graphics, a thumbnail of the topmost graphic is included here while a larger version remains in the article itself.

Having now received two downloads of This Lamp to my Kindle, I noted that the previous edition was moved automatically to my periodicals collection folder just like issues in my Time Magazine subscription. Presumably, unless an edition is designated "keep" (and why would you?), it will be deleted after six or so downloads accumulate. Of course, you can also always manually delete it yourself.

Currently, This Lamp Kindle Edition, like other Kindle blogs and periodicals, is only available on dedicated Kindle devices, including all previous Kindle models. I hope that eventually all Kindle apps (on computers, Android and iOS devices) could carry these types of periodical writing. Although the subscription itself is 99¢ a month, like all periodicals on the Kindle, there is a two-week free trial period. So, feel free to try it out, and if it's not for you, cancel within that 14-day window and you won't be charged.

Of course, if you want to leave a comment, you'll still have to come back to the website for that!

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Reader Comments (1)

Not available outside the USA.…

May 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJesús S.

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