The other night lying in bed, I put down my Kindle for a few minutes. I saw it flash and automatically start updating itself over 3G. That was cool enough, but the next morning as I continued to read my e-book , I began to notice sections that were softly underlined with a number next to it. At first I was confused? What is that? I did not highlight any sections in this book yet. I quickly learned that Amazon had added a very cool feature - ‘Popular Highlights‘. It tracks what sections are being highlighted, and displays those sections with the highest number of highlights and the number of times it has been highlighted.

This an excellent example of crowd-sourcing. Those reading e-books might already be highlighting important sections, but now Kindle is publishing this and ranking the most ‘Popular’ highlights of a book. Its almost like creating Coles Notes by the crowd. This is obviously not possible with an ‘ordinary’ book. It doesn’t matter how many times a section is highlighted, there is no way to know what are the most popular highlighted sections.

I can see great value with this tool, when researching books for school, business or other types of research. What do you think? Do you see this as a valuable tool?