Amazon.com bought Shelfari, a Seattle social networking startup around the same time it acquired AbeBooks out of Victoria, BC which held an equity stake in Shelfari?s rival, Library Thing. Now, Shelfari is going onto the Android Kindle.
This move puts even more social networking features on the eReader. An earlier upgrade this year let users share e-Book passages with friends and followers on both Facebook and Twitter. Previously, the Kindle?s 3G wireless connection only could access Amazon?s bookstore. Without a fully functional web browser, things may not get better for a while. However, that may not be a problem, depending on how fast you can read – 700,000 plus eBooks are available for the Kindle.
The upgrade came Thursday, making it possible to view book details from Shelfari on smartphones running the Google operating system. Screen orientation-lock and full text search comes with the new release. New features allow Android phone users to add notes and highlight books to sync with Kindle apps on the e-reader or an Apple iPad.
Shelfari lets you create a virtual book shelf where friends can see what you are reading, and you can review and discuss them. A Shelfari widget is possible which works on most blogs and social networks including Blogger, LiveJournal, MySpace, Typepad, Xanga, Vox, WordPress, and Facebook.
A quick review of Shelfari reveals a "young adult" focus. It was interesting to find that one of my own favorite authors, James Patterson has a series of science fiction, fantasy books for the younger crowd: Maximum Ride, the Angel Experiment. Today?s most reviewed books on the site included Mockingjay – Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Among the most commented is The Story of Muhammad Ali also written for young readers.
Members can post their shelves, reviews, and comments. One member had added 363 books. Someone commented: "You probably ain’t even read none of these." Let?s hope his comment was meant tongue in cheek, or I have grave concerns about our young readers/writers.