Congratulation, Wikireader! 7th in Amazon TOP 100

Joshua Judson Rosen rozzin at
Thu Oct 29 14:35:46 CET 2009

Thomas Otterbein <th.otterbein at> writes:
> On Wednesday 28 October 2009 22:08:00 Rui Miguel Silva Seabra wrote:
> >
> >3_last
> >
> > Wow, just wow!
> >
> > It's an interesting device, not for me, but quite interesting.
> >
> > What I never expected is such a success.
> >
> > Quite a comparison to the Freerunner's success :)
> >
> > Congratulations, guys!
> >
> > Rui
> Hmm, a lot of devices made by Palm, some of them already stone old,
> are the Bestsellers at Amazon? Where is their own Kindle?

The Kindle is listed as a best-seller, but in a different subcategory
of `electronics'. Actually, it occupies multiple spots in the top-10
listing in the *overall* `electronics' category, while WikiReader is
#4 in a much more restricted category. Not to downplay whatever
success the WikiReader is seeing, though--I got one, myself, and I'm
very impressed by and happy with it; a few of my technically-minded
friends have remarked critically, merely on a conceptual basis, but
those who have actually seen it (especially the `normal people') have
responded very positively.

It's really not evident just how profound the device is until you find
yourslef amongst friends who are trying to remember the details of
something of which you've never even heard, and then suddenly `you're
the expert' in the group. My first experience with this: a couple of
friends were trying to make sense of their memories of `trying to
read' Nikolai Gogol's book, `Dead Souls'..., and there it was in my
WikiReader--suddenly I was an expert on the book (the big question was
`what was the point of the protagonist's scheme to buy already-dead
serfs who counted as taxable property for him'; the answer was `he was
going to retire by *mortgaging* them'). My wife and I received a `this
is what the mercaptan additive in Natural gas smells like'
scratch-and-sniff in the mail from the local gas-supply company, the
other day, and I was able to instantly start a conversation with my
wife, in our kitchen, about the history behind these odour-additives
(and this history turns out to be quite an amazing story,
actually). We're having amazing experiences like this semi-regularly,
thanks to this device.

People do say `$100 seems a little expensive', but then they concede
that maybe it /isn't/ so expensive when reminded that just an 8-GB
micro-SD card by itself retails for as much as $50 (and I note that
more simplistic devices than the WikiReader, on that Amazon list--like
the Scrabble-dictionary--also sell for $50+...).

After actually having the profoundly-wowing `instant expert'
experience a few times, it becomes easy to accept that the device as
being worth $100, even though it's terribly difficult to `just explain
it' to someone who has the perspective of `well, *I* already have a
$500 device with a $100-per-*month* subscription and a favourable
location that alows *me* to be connected to the Internet all the time,
anything that doesn't provide wireless real-time updates and *news*
with updated charts and graphs has all the appeal of the Pet Rock'.

I guess I should post this on Amazon's review-page for the device....

Regarding the Amazon best-seller list per se: I'm not sure that I'm
entirely clear on what exactly Amazon's `bestseller' rating means--
is the `current ranking' just based on the rate of sales per hour,
averaged over the last 1 hour? Do they explain it, somewhere?

Don't be afraid to ask (Lf.((Lx.xx) (Lr.f(rr)))).

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