Old Kindle forums closed, redesigned help forum unveiled

As I wrote about last week, Amazon announced that it would be closing its Kindle discussion forums. The original closure date was listed on a banner as October 6, 2017.

(Click picture to enlarge)

Amazon later posted that the forum would actually close on October 13, 2017:

When announcing the discussion forum closure, Amazon had promised a new, improved experience in the Kindle Help forum on October 9, 2017. As I noted in my last post, the main difference between the two is that the Kindle customer discussion forum included off-topic discussions and was a separate forum from the official Kindle help forum.

Amazon actually closed the forums on the original date, Friday, October 6th. Amazon did the same thing to the forums on IMDB.com, announcing one date and then closing the forums in advance of the deadline. (And, no, users were NOT happy.)  Amazon seems to have closed ALL of customer discussion forums as of Friday.  All of my bookmarked pages are returning error messages.

The newly redesigned Kindle Help forum is now up and running. It has a very different interface that the old one and includes sections for the Kindle, Fire, Fire TV, Echo and Alexa, and Digital Content. The forum also has its own unique (and easier to remember) URL: amazonforum.com. For now at least, the old forum URL still works and redirects to the new domain name.

Have you checked out the new forum design? What do you think?

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Amazon confirms Kindle, Fire discussion forums to close October 13, 2017

Amazon has officially announced on the that the Kindle discussion forum (https://www.amazon.com/forum/kindle) will be closing on Friday, October 13, 2017.

The pinned notice on the board reads:

Amazon would like to thank the members of this community for contributing to the discussion forums. As we grow and evolve, we encourage you to explore Goodreads Groups for books and Spark for other ways to engage with your interests. If you have a help question about your device, starting the morning of October 9th , Pacific Standard Time, we will be introducing an improved help forum experience, with expanded discussion categories.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/group
Spark: https://www.amazon.com/b?node=16907772011

The post is closed to comments.

The discussion forum has been around for ten years, since the announcement of the very first Kindle. It contained Kindle-oriented topics, including popular threads on discounted Kindle books. Customers also discussed various issues and  customers offered other customers unofficial assistance. (Note that the forum that is closing is the Kindle Discussion forum, not the official Kindle Help Community forum.)

Almost the same notice is posted on the Fire forums at https://www.amazon.com/forum/fire/.

There had been a lot of speculation on various discussion threads about Amazon closing the forum since some members had intermittently seen a banner announcing the forums closing on October 6, 2017. It seems that much of the confusion was probably caused by the fact that everyone was not seeing the banner and even those who saw it didn’t see it consistently.

According to threads on the forum, prior to the notice, people were calling Kindle support and getting a variety of answers about the closing.

For many years, you could access the Kindle forums, via a menu link on the main Kindle page. Over the last year, Amazon had deprecated that function and the forum was difficult to find unless you had it bookmarked or were subscribed to email notifications on one of the various topic threads.

Amazon had also recently removed the search function from the forums.

Before I bought my first Kindle, this forum was a tremendous help. I was able to read about the Kindle and get the opinions of people who actually owned and were using the device. Given the fact that the device was $400 at the time, that forum was instrumental for me in researching and ultimately deciding to buy my first Kindle. I don’t think I would have bought my first Kindle without it. It was also a godsend in learning how use the new device.

As a blogger, I also found it a great source of information about issues that affected both the e-ink Kindle and the Fire tablets. Many of my posts on Amazon devices had their genesis in post on the Kindle discussion forum.

The forums also had a dark side.  Many of the regular posters on the forum could be quite snarky about repeatedly answering the same questions over and over again. Authors self-promoting books was also a problem and downvoting topics was a constant source of contention.

Given the fact that Amazon has also done away with the forums on sites like IMDB.com, I am not surprised the they are closing the forum. It is sad, however.

Amazon is directing customers to Goodreads and Spark (an Amazon community exclusive to Prime members). There are members suggesting everyone write Jefff Bezos at jeff@amazon.com to ask for a reprieve on the forums. Some customers are also discussing starting communities on other sites such as Reddit as a replacement.  You can also find already thriving communities on Kboards and Mobileread.

The new Kindle Help Community update will be available on October 9, 2017.

Did you use the Kindle Discussion forum? Are you going to miss it?

Nook closes support forum

As of September 7, the official NOOK forum at Barnes and Noble is shutting down. From the posts on the site, it seemed that posting activity had dwindled to a small number of posts. Users of the forum received an email on the closure.

While the forum may be closing, assistance is still available from Barnes and Noble. According to the post,

Though the forums will no longer be around, we’ll still be here to answer all your support questions at https://help.barnesandnoble.com/ and on social media at the following links:

• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barnesandnoble/
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/BN_care
• Instagram: https://Instagram.com/barnesandnoble

If you are looking for another forum, there is still an active community of Nook users at NOOKBoards.

You can also find discussions for Nook users at the NOOK forum on mobileread.com.

More Fire de-registration issues for children’s tablets

kids_freetime_xSeveral times this year, owners of Fire tablets have had issues with Amazon Fire tablets spontaneously unregistering. This happened in back in April and in June (see here and here). The problem seemed to be especially prevalent in Fires that had Freetime installed.

Well, it seems that the issue has been happening again over the past week. I’ve had a number of Fire users reach out to me here on the blog trying to find out if there has been a fix for the problem. Just like in June, the problems seem to be related to Fires running Freetime under child profiles. The Fires de-register and all app data is lost. Since most of these are tablets used by children, it is particularly frustrating for parents and children alike.

The bad news, from what I can find, is that Amazon still does not seem to have an explanation for the problem.

While your best bet for assistance is to call Amazon Kindle support, there are several threads on this issue on Amazon forums that may be helpful:

You can stay updated on the issue by clicking the “Track this discussion” button located on the right side of the screen on any of the forums.

Many parents are complaining that Amazon isn’t being helpful on the issue. More on this to come….