In order to cement its place in the ebook market Amazon has launched a social network called Public Notes. Public Notes features a clean, simple white user interface design and it allows users to sign up and follow particular authors, books, and other users. Users can share their reading activity which ranges from the particular status of certain books such as a wish list to a list of read books etc. Public Notes isn’t particularly new but it has now been opened up so that users can link to other users through Facebook and Twitter. In essence it appears that Amazon is trying to achieve what Apple set out to do with Ping, the musical social network. Ping is not considered as one of Apple’s hits but more as one of their misses.
Ping never caught on as much as it could have due to Apple only allowing it to run in iTunes and that importing friends into it was an arduous task. Public Notes however is more open, requiring no sign up to get started and has a very simple user interface design. Book lovers will surely find the site appealing. It is like being part of a book club without having to actually organize one. Users can simply highlight their favorite parts and add their own thoughts to books. Amazon’s approach with the user interface design is one where users will not have to spend much time curating. After all people are already spending enough time on Facebook and Twitter so the last thing they need is to be confronted with a complicated user interface design that requires time to figure out. The future of Public Books could also be very bright if verified authors and commentators could sign on Twitter style and critique each other’s work.