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From the archives: The lazy, social, anti-DRM pattern for ebooks

This post from August 2008 contains some my thinking at the time about how to make ebook reading and shopping experiences more social. I’m surprised that none of it has happened yet; even the limited lending feature of the B&N Nook doesn’t really capture it:

As soon as I’ve finished the book, the device prompts me to rate it (4 stars!). It also knows about my social connections. It asks me if I’d recommend it to my friend, who has enjoyed similar books, and I say yes.

The next morning my friend wakes up and picks up his e-reader. There’s a recommendation from me — and a 20% discount to purchase this book immediately. This $5 digital book is now just four bucks, and it’s instantly on his device.

Once he accepts, I get 20% off my next purchase too, and a “karma point” in my profile for a successful recommendation.

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