Why we don’t get our gadget info from Oprah

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oprah winfrey loves the kindle
I get confused when I can’t tell an endorsement from a paid endorsement. One minute there is a report that talk show host Oprah Winfrey has declared Amazon’s Kindle her “favorite new thing” and the next is a big advertisement with Ms. Winfrey on Amazon. A quick search on the tubes proves I am unsuccessful at finding out if she was paid to make this claim or not.

The Oprah show painted the Kindle as a wonder: not frivolous as it will save you money in the long run and a super green way to read books. I can hear the trees applauding from here.

The timing certainly is interesting, as we roar into the holiday season that has most retailers shaking in their sleeves. And science has shown Oprah’s seal of approval added a million votes to candidate Sen. Barack Obama; certainly, it can bump a few Kindle sales.

I didn’t see anything about a comparison to say the Sony Reader or even the iPhone/touch Stanza. Maybe she ran out of time for that segment or didn’t check them out too, I am sure she is rather busy. Maybe the Kindle is just that amazing?

Infoweek has a story that rings in at #1 on a Google search for Oprah and Kindle. Its comments highlight the best and worst of the gadget. From the gushing:

  • I have owned a Kindle since last Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad) and I LOVE IT!!!
  • I always drag one or two books with me wherever I go, so this has made life a lot easier
  • I couldn’t care less what Oprah touts, but my Kindle is the best thing I’ve purchased all year
  • once you have the Kindle and realize how awesome it is, you can understand why she might want to bring it to more light/bring it to the attention of people

To the less than impressed with either Oprah or the gadget:

  • the Kindle/Reader are flat out stupid as they are currently conceived. For one simple reason: discardability.
  • If Oprah endorsed it, it can’t be worth it! All those mind-numbed robots of hers – what idiots.
  • I’d really like one, but worry that I won’t be able to download the obscure literary tomes I love
  • Considered the Kindle for a while, but it just appears to be a way for Amazon to secure a steady trickle of cash from your wallet.

Can Oprah drive more Kindles off the shelf this holiday season? Will the addition of Oprah’s book club be the honey that bring the bees a’calling? Did Oprah get paid for this?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Read [Information Week]

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