Copia: E-Reading Meets Facebook in the Latest New, New Thing

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facebookThe latest e-book experience got its public unveiling on Wednesday. At a New York City event co-hosted by an e-reading advocate, Idea Logical CEO Mike Shatzkin, consumer-technology company DMC Worldwide's Copia was introduced as a social-networking-enhanced e-reader with slogans like "If reading is a journey, Copia is a road trip with your best friends." (No actual Copia was on hand.)

A Copia representative called Copia "a digital content delivery platform" accessible from "any digital touchprint" -- desktops, e-readers, iPads, smartphones -- and said DMC's e-readers will hit the market by the third quarter this year. Copia, like rival devices, will allow storage of thousands of titles, but will be compatible with downloads from almost any source (unlike Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle, which works only with proprietary Amazon-sold e-books). Prices reportedly will range from $199 to $299.

The primary benefit to the Copia is its ability to uses social network Facebook. Rather than requiring users to create separate, dedicated stand-alone communities, Copia connects with existing social networks so users can explore what friends and "friends" (and their friends) are reading, share notes and form study groups and book clubs.

It's all intriguing, but it sounds a bit like Netflix's social-networking aspect, which I find to be of limited utility. I like my friends, but I don't necessarily share their tastes in movies, or in books.

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