Taking the nook to suburban moms

In the last post I spoke about a few things the nook eReader offers that I find somewhat compelling. Since the release I found Michael Gartenberg‘s article on Engadget, “Entelligence: Of ebooks and suburban moms” pretty interesting. However, I think he is wrong.

He focuses on three main arguments in his post. But from where I sit and where I live and the circles my family run in, his arguments do not work. Let’s break this down.

Price
The price of the device is $249. Where I live in the Dallas area this is hardly a stumbling block. If anything it provides yet another status symbol for those with disposable income. One look through the carpool lane at the elementary school where my kids attend you’ll see any number of high dollar cars with iPhone toting moms.And iPhone toting kids for that matter.

Backlighting
I don’t disagree with the need for light to read, but how many places are suburban mom’s likely to be where there is no light? Perhaps the movie theater. Otherwise I don’t see this as an issue. Not from a suburban mom perspective. Besides, you can buy a book light if it was really necessary and if you were in dark places frequently and liked to read there you would need light anyway. Additionally, reading on any device with a backlight for extended periods is a beating and distracting to others.

Refresh Rates
I’m not sure that this is going to be an issue for the suburban mom. Refresh rates are inline with turning the page of a book. I don’t expect this will be a huge issue for mom’s adopting the technology.

I think the barriers to getting suburban moms to adopt eReaders is to that they need to find a compelling way to incorporate this into their lives.  I see all sorts of uses for this group.

  • They can run by the Barnes & Noble store and actually browse books and pick up new titles fairly easily.
  • Reading habits are all over the map. One of my kids stands up and dances around while he reads and the other one goes from upside down to right side up every few pages. So reading unusual locations is not a big deal.
  • Access to RSS feeds could be useful if someone shows them how easy it is to get started. Today RSS is not part of the equation for this group if you believe these reports. The trick is to build in useful feeds with the ability to add “feeds” without knowing how it all works. Barnes & Noble and Amazon need to make it simple.
  • Music is great when reading. When reading “Catcher in the Rye” I listened to The Smiths “Louder Than Bombs” record. Strangely fitting, but sometimes music can help set your mood. Adding a player will not replace the MP3 player, but helps make it easy to take some tunes along for the ride.

In my neck of the woods(suburbia) it will only take a few influential moms to tote this thing around and it will sell. But getting them to incorporate this into their lives is the bigger challenge.

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