Which is here …
Recently, Jeff Bezos, king of the Amazon bought the Washington Post, and lots of us have speculated what he’ll do with his new toy. One possibility is, he’ll say nice things to the present establishment, to protect his book business. Another, suggested by science writer Charlie Martin, is this:
So now, let’s imagine publishing a “paper” to an electronic platform. In fact, let’s not be coy about it and imagine publishing to the Kindle. Here, we have a platform that can deliver text content almost instantly and update it automatically; that eliminates the cost of printing.
What’s more, if you have a Kindle, Amazon already knows what you like to read, and often what you buy — I’ve bought everything from health and beauty products to specialty groceries to furniture from Amazon.
And your Kindle knows where you are: the Kindle Fire has “location services” built in.
So here’s your new Washington Post: primarily delivered on Kindles, other Android platforms, and on Kindle apps on iPhone and iPad. Amazon applies your reading preferences and generates content with the selection optimized to what you like to read — my “front page” would have lots of politics, science, and foreign news; yours might have the sports pages and feature stories instead.
If Charlie’s right, Amazon’s Bezos would eliminate the Post’s role as the gatekeeper of approved, elite opinion, the way it, like the Times, has always rejoiced in being.
Just as Amazon will sell you the books you want to read …? We’ll see.