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Old 11-30-2007, 09:08 AM   #1
TadW
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E-book basher turns e-book lover, thanks to Kindle

Remember the rant against e-books by Mike Elgan from ComputerWorld? Well, the same guy who called e-books an eternal failure has now fallen in love with his Kindle:

Quote:
Broadly speaking, the Kindle is a game-changing revolution in buying, reading, managing and using electronic books and other content. It's also the hottest holiday gift you can buy this year for anyone who loves to read.

I've always been skeptical about e-books, but Amazon has made a believer -- and a customer -- out of me.
Full article: Why Amazon's Kindle is revolutionary

Of course this doesn't make any sense. In his rant article, Mr. Elgan asserted that the problem with e-books was that you could not touch them like paper and that people didn't want to curl up with a "battery-operated plastic screen". He said they'd never catch on. And today, a couple of months later, the Kindle is the "hottest holiday gift you can buy"? So much for journalistic integrity.
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:41 AM   #2
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So much for journalistic integrity.
I agree it's not a very credible change of opinion but let's be correct. He writes articles which contain both information and his own opinions. So he's a columnist, not a journalist. I don't think I hold columnists to anything like the same standards as someone who's job it is to be accurate and dispassionate. But he just might be a rather foolish columnist.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:15 AM   #3
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I guess Mike never saw the 505. So why would he rant about a topic he knows nothing about?
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:26 AM   #4
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Of course this doesn't make any sense. In his rant article, Mr. Elgan asserted that the problem with e-books was that you could not touch them like paper and that people didn't want to curl up with a "battery-operated plastic screen".
Gosh, I wish I could get publicity like that.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:46 PM   #5
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Kudos to him for admitting he was wrong about ebooks though. He actually says: "This week, I set out to deflate the hype about Amazon's new Kindle e-book reader and to tell you why it will fail. But while researching this column, I became convinced of the opposite...."

So it's cool that he admitted that he was wrong. But why the Kindle changed is mind, rather than e-ink, is a bit off. But at least we have someone switching over to the e-book side.
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:23 PM   #6
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I don't agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW View Post
Remember the rant against e-books by Mike Elgan from ComputerWorld? Well, the same guy who called e-books an eternal failure has now fallen in love with his Kindle:



Full article: Why Amazon's Kindle is revolutionary

Of course this doesn't make any sense. In his rant article, Mr. Elgan asserted that the problem with e-books was that you could not touch them like paper and that people didn't want to curl up with a "battery-operated plastic screen". He said they'd never catch on. And today, a couple of months later, the Kindle is the "hottest holiday gift you can buy"? So much for journalistic integrity.
What does journalistic integrity have to do with changing one's mind ? Haven't you ever had a strong opinion on a matter, where you later changed your mind ?

Give the guy a break.. I feel strongly about this, but I reserve the right to have a different opinion later on. . This in no way constitutes a lack of integrity on my part..

Gino.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:06 PM   #7
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Gino, of course there is nothing wrong with changing one's mind.

But if someone claims "e-books are destined for failure", this person needs to have some very good arguments to support his controversial claim. So what were his arguments?
  1. E-books are expensive (hardware costs hundreds of dollars)
  2. Everyone already has alternatives (PC, Tablet PC, notebook, PDA)
  3. People love paper books (it's their "human nature", they love to touch paper, to escape from the electronic screens they look at all day, to give books as gifts, they don't want to curl up with a battery-operated plastic screen)

Now we got the Kindle. But what has really changed in respect to his arguments?

When I talk about journalistic integrity, I talk about common journalistic standards which include objectivity and a balanced point of view.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I guess Mike never saw the 505. So why would he rant about a topic he knows nothing about?
You rant about the Gen3; have you ever seen one?
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:06 AM   #9
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Let's examine one of those arguments: "ebooks are expensive"

Last year I spent $692 on 34 books purchased on Amazon or at my local Borders. (Not too bad - only a little over my $50 a month book budget.) If I buy the same number of ebooks next year at $10 a piece, and spend $400 on a Kindle, that will be $740.

Now, paper books are obviously cheaper in my case, especially when you consider that I could, in theory, resell some of those books. (In reality I don't. Some sit on my ever-growing bookshelf in my office and others pile up at home until I finally take a box of books somewhere to give away.) But - the difference is not that significant.

And consider year two! If I keep my Kindle as my primary reader until the end of 2009 (my wife is rolling her eyes and saying, "I'll believe that when I see it.") ebooks will cut my budget in almost half that year.

So, with the advent of $10 ebooks I'd say the "ebooks are expensive" argument is not very strong anymore.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:18 AM   #10
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ebooks will cut my budget in almost half that year.
haha, lets be honest, what you meant to say is "i'll be able to buy almost twice as many books!"
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:15 AM   #11
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haha, lets be honest, what you meant to say is "i'll be able to buy almost twice as many books!"
Well - if my purchases since the Kindle came are any indication - 2.5x is more like it! (grin) But that's just because it's new, right? At least I hope...
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:37 PM   #12
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LOL. Yeah. I've had this thing since Thursday and I'm already on my 4th purchased book. This could get expensive.
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:04 PM   #13
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Hmm... possibilities...
  1. Mike never actually tried the Sony Reader, the Kindle was the first reader he actually got his hands on;
  2. Mike has an aversion to leather covers on metallic-plastic devices;
  3. Mike tested the PRS-500, and never got used to that page-turn thingy;
  4. Mike hates Sony's clumsy Connect bookstore (actually, I can buy that one easily);
  5. Mike owns a Mac;
  6. Mike owns a Linux;
  7. Mike owns an old Amiga (okay, moving on...);
  8. Mike was in a car accident, and has amnesia (and only one hand to read with now);
  9. Mike's boss "suggested" Mike's tone after
  10. Amazon came to Mike's boss and offered to put his kids through college.
Ah, the list could go on and on...
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:01 PM   #14
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His original article really failed to make the case against e-books, deliverying bold statements without proper supportive material. Now his subsequent article is just as weak, giving more bold statements without support. Someone should explain to him that when you put forth a hypothesis, you are supposed to offer a proper proof to support it, not throw out secondary information that doesn't make your case (but I guess makes you sound smart).

eBooks have the potential to replace all books when they reach a threshold that meets all the consumer's core expecations of a book and gives the core improvements are expected from a book's replacement.

When/how that threshold is met (if ever) is is the true question. For some it has already been met. For others, they have some additional requirements that have not been met yet (price, interface, ease of use, content, display, etc.). Manufacturer's will continue to progress towards those requirements as their market share increases.

We tend to call gadgets revolutionary (like the iPod) when they are able to meet enough new requirements that they get a disproportionate increase in market acceptance. But there are still many people listening to CDs (even LPs), so obviously even the iPod did not completely replace previous players.

The Kindle is a step forward that pushes us closer to that ideal, how close only sales will tell. But for some, like myself, it has finally met my core requirements to move me forward enough to replace most physical books and newspapers (though not all yet).

Is one better than another? That all depends on your personal requirements.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:42 PM   #15
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[SNIP]
Is one better than another? That all depends on your personal requirements.
Hey! No Fair!! You're being reasonable in an online discusion. That's... that's... that's cheating, that's what it is!

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