It’s ILMK’s 8th birthday…and I’m celebrating with two giveaways!

It’s ILMK’s 8th birthday…and I’m celebrating with two giveaways!

August 28, 2009: the I Love My Kindle blog begins with this post:

Oh…um, Hi!

While I have predicted a few things correctly over the years (and been wrong on some others), I could never have predicted what the experience of writing this blog would be like!

It’s been wonderful! I’m not saying that was a surprise. 😉 I’ve been writing and/or doing other creative things for a very long time, and I’ve always enjoyed it and found fulfillment in it.

Rather than that, I’d say the biggest surprise has been how collaborative it has been.

Generally, when you write something, it’s a pretty solitary activity. Even when I’ve written with others, it still largely happens in your own head. Then you put it out there, and while you might get some feedback, it’s mostly finished once it leaves you.

With a blog, it’s different. For the first bunch of years, I posted every day (now, it’s more often several times a week). When I write the post I usually invite, and actively encourage, comments. I then can respond to those (and do, to almost all of them…in some cases, no response is necessary), and we may have a real dialogue. I would guess that there are some posts where I’ve written more in the comments than I did in the original post!

I can learn a lot in those exchanges with my readers, and they can get me to see what I’ve said and thought from a different perspective. I really appreciate that!

Based on that, I may (and have) revise a post, making it better (and typically crediting the commenter for helping with that), or write another post further exploring that topic.

I couldn’t do that easily with a book or a play or even when I was doing an “e-zine”, as we used to call them. With a blog, there is a site where people can go back and find it, so if they do, they get a better read. The international nature of blogging (I have readers around the world, which is cool!) also means people read it at different times, so I may improve the post before some people see it.

Polls are another way that people can give me their opinions (and in that case, do so without any identifying information), and I’ve had a lot of fun with those! I’ve also changed the blog based on them (largely dropping book reviews here, for example, and I stopped using the term “Mindle” for the least expensive Kindle).

Thank you to my readers and commenters for doing this together!

What I cover has also changed. When I started this, I pictured mostly writing about tech tips for the Kindle, and some about the Kindle culture (which was still developing). It really grew out of the Kindle forums, which I was visiting multiple times a day, most of the time.

I’m a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, and a techie going back to the punch card days…and a trainer for a long time. Helping people by writing about the Kindle made sense.

However, just as Amazon has greatly expanded what it does, so have I. It’s not really possible to write about the Kindle without writing about Amazon. Amazon started out as a bookstore, but that’s only a small part of what it does now. For me, the Kindle and e-books are still my primary focus, but I didn’t think I’d be writing about grocery stores! 😉

I do plan to check in again with my readers about the topics I cover and the way I write about them…that helps me decide how to try to improve the blog going forward. I think I’ll leave that for another post, although I welcome your feedback.

Here are the most popular posts since ILMK started (over a million views!):

Title Views
Home page / Archives 1,018,258
Which Kindle do you have? 165,869
The reading experience: Paperwhite vs. Kindle Fire HDX 105,547
Got a new Kindle? Here’s the most important thing to know 81,696
You can now reset your Kindle password yourself 80,600
What to do if your Kindle is lost or stolen 64,022
Parental controls and your Kindle 50,568
Amazon: “Deregistering the Kindle will remove all content from the device” 40,998
Why I don’t use Amazon’s Silk browser 27,684

It’s telling to me that the second most popular post is something that is effectively a tech tip…and that you wouldn’t guess would be an issue at all. 🙂

In the past, I’ve made some of my books free on ILMK’s birthday, but I wanted to do something different this year. Now that Amazon has its

Amazon Giveaways (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and I’ve had so much fun with those, I’m going to give away eight Kindle versions of

The Collected I Love My Kindle Blog Volume 1 (at AmazonSmile*)

That collects the first 101 posts in this blog. I didn’t stop at 100 because I wanted to include all of my Sherlock Holmes story

A Kindle Abandoned

That’s a random giveaway, and will end in eight days. I do ask that you watch a twenty second video of one of our dogs when you enter…you know, we’re hoping it goes viral. 😉 Ideally, it would show up on the  Echo Show (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)…that would be so cool!

Here is the link:

and the details:

Start:Aug 28, 2017 4:42 AM PDT
End:Sep 5, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 8 winners.
Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
Watch a YouTube video
18+ years of age (or legal age)

However, I also know that many of my readers already have that book. 🙂 I’ve given it away many times. So, I’m also doing this: I’m going to give a $8 Amazon “gift card” (it will be electronic). I’ll randomly select one winner from everyone who comments on this post before this coming Sunday (September 3rd, Pacific Time). That way, you can get whatever you want. 🙂

Good luck in both giveaways, and thank you for a great (first?) eight years!

My other current Amazon Giveaway:

We Can Do It! giveaway

That’s for a chance to win my sibling’s book:

We Can Do It!: A Problem Solving Graphic Novel Guide for General Physics (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*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 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.


5 Responses to “It’s ILMK’s 8th birthday…and I’m celebrating with two giveaways!”

  1. Joe Bowers Says:

    Happy Birthday ILMK!
    And, thanks, as always, for your helpful, informative and entertaining work, Bufo. I look forward to your posts.

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I can’t remember when I first subscribed to ILMK. I’ve had to unsubscribe and resubscribe several times over the years because sometimes that’s the only way to fix a blog clog;)

    Thanks for all the “heads ups” on deals, and tips on how to get the most out of our Kindles. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and predictions about Amazon’s evolution. Thanks for the articles both informative and entertaining as well as the occasional April Fool’s prank.

    Here’s to the next 8 years!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Well, the first comment I show from you was on January 26, 2011…I’m guessing you were a subscriber then. 🙂

      I really appreciate all of your contributions to the blog, and especially when we haven’t seen things exactly the same way. 😉 I’ve also told people about your insight about how not visualizing when reading is usually a sign of a challenged reader…that was fascinating to me!

      Ready to ease on down that Yellow Brick Road? Hang on, everybody…here we goooooooo!

  3. Zebras Says:

    Happy 8th! I discovered you not long after getting my first Kindle, so you are always there for us with good advice and insight into the machinations of the e-book world and Amazon in general. It has been so helpful all these years!

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