Notes on Margins

Fred Wilson wrote:

It’s gotten to the point that if I can’t interact with content, I don’t want to consume it. When I read books, I underline certain passages so I can blog about them later. If I were reading on a connected device, I’d simply reblog on tumblr and be done. I don’t think I’m unusual in this regard but I do think I’m in the leading edge of behavior and that more and more people will feel this way.A VC, Dec 2008

Ditto. Take a look at books left over from old (100+ years) writers, scientists, people. They are full of notes on the margins. This type of interaction with text only stopped recently, perhaps because a lot of content consumption went one-way — magazines, newspapers, TV. An old notebook of my grandmother’s I recently found has pages written out from books she borrowed and found insightful but did not own to write directly in. My big hope is that next version of Kindle would provide some kind of a solution. It is possible that other readers already provide these capabilities and I am just unaware of them…

I see a lot of people also blogging as they read through a book – something this type of functionality would facilitate. Does the world really need people to post half-formed thoughts the moment they get an urge to share them? Probably not, but we already do (reading this post qualifies), so making this sharing easier is not going to make things worse, but perhaps encourage those for whom current means are too convoluted or complicated to participate in the discussion.

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