I have been loading more periodical content onto the Kindle lately, with The Wall Street Journal, at ten bucks a month, being the best of a bunch of very good deals. Currently I have Newsweek and U. S. News and World Report downloading wirelessly for a couple of bucks a month each, ditto Slate. But what about blogs? Amazon offers scores of them, and I have been evaluating them as “Kindle-worthy” for the last few weeks.
First, lots of folks disdain the idea of paying anything for content that they can access for free over the web, even if it is a buck a month. Fair enough. Others, who like to do their reading on the Kindle whenever possible, have come up with work-arounds using RSS aggregation services like Bloglines to scoop up the content and then access it using the basic web browser built into the Kindle. Again, not a bad idea.
But what I like about reading a blog on the Kindle is that the offerings, for the most part, provide full text posts rather than links, and, as with all things Kindle, that content is resident on the Kindle so that I can read it on the airplane or anywhere else when I want to, whether a web connection is available or not.
Some of the blog offerings that interest me the most, though, do not necessarily display very well on the device. The Data Mining blog, for example, uses lots of charts and graphs, which seem to be a weak spot for Kindle’s display (text too small, colors in the original image muddy when shown on the e-ink screen), and the number of links the blog provides in posts always makes me feel like I am missing something. (I certainly don’t want to have to fire up the browser to follow them–too slow and clumsy.)
My favorite blog to date is the Street Use blog, which has very short posts accompanied by amazing pictures of “street” improvisations from around the world–wooden bicycles, military applications for the Segway, kids improvising “steerable” toy trucks in Cameroon and Gabon. The photos seem to display better than the muddy charts and graphs. the only problem with this blog is that it hasn’t been posted to since August. I guess that can’t be blamed on the Kindle!