What’s in a name? An EBR by any other name would read as sweet
Amazon is good at a lot of things.
Naming items isn’t one of them. ;)
Okay, those are both my opinion…but they are opinions that have been expressed by many people.
Even the name “Kindle”, with its association with fire, seemed an odd choice if you were arguing that you are a champion of books…and especially if you were doing something that some people were going to fear would hurt paper books. Of course, it wasn’t as bad as Barnes & Nobles’ choice of “Nook” for their e-book reader…as I reported that Kindle forum member J. Taylor pointed out way back in 2009:
That’s a matter of taste, which is important in terms of marketing.
More concerning is when naming has a direct practical impact on customers.
That’s been the case with the least expensive model of the Kindle.
There have been seven generations of Kindles to date…different capabilities, different morphologies…and Amazon almost always refers to that low end model as simply the “Kindle”.
Clearly, that causes a problem for people buying covers, for one thing.
A cover that would fit the Kindle 1 (the 2007 model…we actually got a free cover with that device) won’t fit the current gen(eration).
If, perhaps, Amazon at least put the generation number clearly on the device somehow, that would help.
It’s also a real challenge for people providing support to other Kindle users, like the Kindle Forum Pros (I’m one of those). As the menus change, the step by step help that many people want (and by which they are greatly benefited) becomes difficult if you don’t know which model they have (and they often don’t know, either).
So, and I would say inevitably, the community has adopted its own nicknames for different gens of the lowest priced Kindles.
Since nicknames are unofficial, they have various degrees of adoption…and they strike people different ways.
When the fourth generation of the Kindle was introduced in late 2011, I nicknamed that one the “Mindle” (for “minimum Kindle”…other people said later it was for “Mini Kindle”, which is fine with me). Amazon had referred to the first gen as just a “Kindle” (logical) and the second gen as a “Kindle 2” (that name was actually used in press releases). The third generation went back to just being the “Kindle”, but the community called it the “Kindle 3”. Amazon later renamed that one the “Kindle Keyboard”.
The fourth gen was announced at the same time as the Kindle Touch, and that was when that “Kindle Keyboard” rebranding happened.
There were now three versions of the “Kindle” currently on sale at Amazon.
I nicknamed the lowest cost one the “Mindle” partially to give a short way to differentiate it from the other Kindles.
I’ll admit it: I like making up neologisms. :)
Some of them get used by other people, although that’s not necessarily the point. I do it partially because it is fun for me, and partially specifically for my readers.
Some of them do catch on to some extent. I’ve seen other people use EBR (E-Book Reader) and “tradpub” (traditional publisher). Sometimes, there is a parallel evolution (that’s not that uncommon when doing something creative): I’m certainly not the only person to make up “phablet” to combine “phone” and “tablet” for the larger-screened phones).
I polled my readers, about three years ago, in
about their use of terms I’d coined. EBR was by far the most popular.
I’m sure some people detest some of the terms I’ve proposed.
One of my regular readers and commenters, Susan Cassidy, who I respect, recently asked me to stop using the term “Mindle”. Susan reported a psychogenic reaction to it, calling it “…disgustingly cutesy”.
Susan also thought it hadn’t “caught on”. I did check, and it has been used hundreds of times in the Amazon Kindle forum…and very few of those will have been by me. It’s also likely that other people independently came up with the term.
While I will ultimately determine my future use of it, I like to get a sense of what my readers think as well. If many people feel the way Susan does, that would certainly influence my decision.
So, I decided to ask you. :)
A somewhat different question is what you would like me to call the current generation least expensive Kindle, this one:
Thanks for giving my your opinion…and that thanks goes especially to you, Susan!
If you have another suggestion for a name, or if you think the whole question is silly ;) feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.