This morning I was thinking about The Social Life of Information as prelude to writing a post (one that I've not yet written) about disruption a la Clay Shirky versus disruption a la Clayton Christensen. I had the post title - Clay Squared - but little else. I thought that real disruption changes our social patterns but Brown and Duguid's book argued those were pretty entrenched, so I wanted to write something about the sort of social patterns that might change. I knew I had purchased The Social Life and started to look for it on my bookshelf. I couldn't find it. No big surprise there. I purchased it quite a while ago, when we lived in our old house. It could be anywhere in our house now. Doing a quick cost-benefit calculation in my head, I opted for plan B.
That was to see if there was Kindle version available. I would then buy it in that format, if the price were right. So I went to the Amazon.com site to see whether that's possible. Alas, there is no Kindle version of The Social Life... But, to my surprise, the site says I purchased the book on June 20, 2001. So I put two and two together and came up with this.
If Amazon is so good at tracking paper books we've purchased, then they should make Kindle versions of those books, if they exist, available to us for free given that we've already paid for the paper version. Perhaps this should be a perq for Amazon Prime members only. But they should offer this function is some, way, shape or form. I note that they are now giving Prime readers one free download of a new book in pre-release. Nice as this service is, I'm so behind in reading I've already planned that I didn't find this offer a real benefit. I understand that they'd like to generate some early reviews for these books to get other readers to buy them. So there is a business reason for this free download offering. There is not an obvious business reason to let paper purchasers get the Kindle version for free. But sometimes it is good business just to reward customer loyalty. The reread of an old book doesn't generate a sale. But it might increase customer satisfaction quite a bit. That should count.