There is nothing particularly noteworthy about this post by Richard Stephenson, only it begins with an anecdote about the author’s friend, an early adopter of the Kindle who is now ashamed to be seen with the device in public because it’s no longer the most fashionable gadget in town.
Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to turn in your adult badge, because you’re an embarrassment to the rest of us.
… many students trusted in rankings above all else. In fact, a quarter of the students, when assigned information-seeking tasks, said they chose a website because - and only because - it was the first search result.
Only 10% of the students made mention of the site’s author or that author’s credentials while completing tasks. However, in reviewing the screen-capture footage of those respondents, the researchers found that even in this supposedly savvy minority, none actually followed through to verify the identification or qualifications of the site’s authors.
I’m also amused that Planned Parenthood is among one of the few “trusted sources” online for college students. I don’t remember ever having to go there for any of my college assignments, so I suspect the millennials are visiting the website for non-curricular reasons.
It’s true: On Amazon.com, you can only send a printed book to someone as a gift. Amazon deftly sidesteps this issue on their Kindle gift support page, but the bottom line is that you cannot directly purchase a Kindle book for anyone but yourself. The closest you can come to giving someone a Kindle book is to send them an Amazon gift certificate and then tell them which book to buy — which is awkward, convoluted, and a bit obnoxious.
That process feels less like a gift and more like a command.
“Kessel says people have realized that the iPad might be good for a lot of things, but isn’t really the best device for sustained reading over several hours. It’s too heavy, for one thing—about a pound and a half compared with 10 ounces for the Kindle, which can be held in one hand, like a paperback. As Kessel puts it, in a bit of an understatement, “The Kindle and the iPad are very different products.”—
So true. I have a Kindle while my partner has an iPad. Whenever he sees me pack the Kindle into my handbag, he suggests that I bring the iPad instead. The iPad is a really nifty home media device, but I just can’t use it with one hand!
I’ve selected three quotes from the Publishing Perspectives interview that highlight how China’s approach to digital publishing differs from the US:
"We know from experience that merely setting up a sub-department to work on digital publishing is not sufficient."
"The project requires an investment of RMB269 million ($39.67 million). This year we received RMB20 million ($2.95 million) from the government. Our company is investing, too. We are also creating a shareholding system and trying to pull all publishing groups in the entire country together to invest."
"It is very important to us not to be tied to the technology providers, telecommunication operators or hardware providers. But we don’t want to be permanently reduced to the position of simple content providers. We should be able to integrate different resources. That means acquisition of the necessary technology and hardware, putting them together, and printing our own label on it."
Chalk it up to cultural differences? Chinese society and government are more top-down compared to the United States, so it’s “easier” to establish an institutional authority that will develop national digital publishing strategies and issue directives to the entire industry. Western publishers and writers, on the other hand, appear to be protecting their own interests first (see every single media report about format/price/device/publishing rights wars) and have been very conservative about using digital technology. I don’t think one approach is better than the other as China and the US are so very different, but it’ll be fun to see how digital publishing will take root in two of the world’s largest, most aggressive markets.
Alternatively, and more cheaply, you can just get Papa Hemingway’s duck-billed cap from the J. Peterman Company that looks like the one in the following picture for those summer writing days on the verandah. You’ll have to grow your own manly chest, however.
I find America’s attachment to the hardcover format rather quaint. In contrast, Australians don’t “do” hardcovers. First editions here come out as C format trade paperbacks (135mm x 216mm), almost as unwieldy as a hardcover but a lot lighter, which strikes me as a very sensible thing.
The weight of a book matters a great deal to me. I’m a one-book woman - when I read, I like to plough through the entire thing as quickly as possible so I can to get to the second book. This means I need to be able to read anytime, anywhere and with one hand, like when I’m brushing my teeth, cooking, playing badminton or arm wrestling.
“Staff of the local paper Курьер.Среда (Kurer-Sreda) were immediately intrigued by the project and set out to replicate it in what they called “Один из 97000″ or “One of the 97,000,” a nod to the Berdsk’s 97,000 residents. The number of staff was less than you can count on two hands, yet within hours they began reporting and capturing photos and audio, despite a considerably fewer resources than a major news organization like the Times. Also unlike the New York Times, there are no Flash developers in the newsroom so the staff took a low-tech approach. They built photo slideshows with the free program Windows Movie Maker, uploaded them to YouTube and posted to the site. They also created photo stories accompanied by text… The result is a compelling series of multimedia stories that offer insight into the lives of the citizens of Berdsk.”—No resources? No problem: How a local Russian paper took on the New York Times :: 10,000 Words :: where journalism and technology meet (via interestingsnippets) (via archivedigger)
An interesting perspective on Time’s sorta pay wall.
Like second marriages, Time magazine’s new, extra-confusing pay wall is the triumph of hope over experience. The company has tried this before, and the results were predictable: traffic to the Time Inc. sites cratered and the added revenue from forcing people to buy the print product didn’t…
I shouldn’t take this personally, and for all I know bookshelfporn may be kidding, but the business model for print publishing is FUCKED. I love dead-tree books, adore bookshelves, but this kind of narrow-minded antipathy for e-readers and e-books is not doing literature any favours.
I’m a book buyer. I read about 90 new books each year and I buy all of them. But in the last five years, I’ve had to move my book collection across three different countries, and having committed myself to a career in publishing, I will never own a mansion with a library wing of its own. I will be renting apartments for a long time, possibly for the rest of my life. Therefore, e-books and e-readers are a godsend. When it comes down to it, the format is irrelevant - it is good writing and stories that I treasure and remember.