Media Influencer

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Daily links 05/08/2012

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  • quite interesting and insightful. apart from the Lanier veneration, of course. ;)

    • However, with the gimlet eyes of a new blogger, I detect ominous portents of change. First, I see that Hitch’s article has been featured on the Vanity Fair website for the better part of a week and has garnered only 813 Facebook likes and 75 Tweets. Many of my blog articles receive more engagement than this, some by nearly a factor of 10. No doubt this has something to do with the ratio of signal to noise: When readers come to a personal blog, they are more or less guaranteed to read what the author has written. How many people will find Hitch’s article on the Vanity Fair website?
    • I hesitate to read too much into these metrics, but it doesn’t seem entirely crazy to wonder whether a significant percentage of the people who have read Hitch’s essay in the last week read it in the last hour because I broadcast it on social media. I used to view this as a wonderful synergy—digital enables print; print points back to digital; and both thrive. I now consider it the death knell for traditional publishing.
    • I can count on one finger the number of places where it is still obviously better for me to publish than on my own blog—the opinion page of The New York Times. But it’s not so much better that I’ve been tempted to send them an article in the last few months. Is this just the hubris of the blogosphere? Maybe—but not for everyone and not for long.
    • For instance, I’ve started to think that most books are too long, and I now hesitate before buying the next big one. When shopping for books, I’ve suddenly become acutely sensitive to the opportunity costs of reading any one of them. If your book is 600 pages long, you are demanding more of my time than I feel free to give. And if I could accomplish the same change in my view of the world by reading a 60-page version of your argument, why didn’t you just publish a book this length instead?
    • Publishers can’t charge enough money for 60-page books to survive; thus, writers can’t make a living by writing them. But readers are beginning to feel that this shouldn’t be their problem. Worse, many readers believe that they can just jump on YouTube and watch the author speak at a conference, or skim his blog, and they will have absorbed most of what he has to say on a given subject. In some cases this is true and suggests an enduring problem for the business of publishing. In other cases it clearly isn’t true and suggests an enduring problem for our intellectual life.
  • Really great account of the experience with the publishing industry, in and out, and the journey to the other side, i.e. online world of distributed distribution, aka piracy amongst those who can’t keep up.

    tags: sweden publishing piracy distribution politics

    • Regarding the pirate issue, I did not lack ideas about what to do. I united with my colleagues in the publishing world and this time no-one stopped me from pulling my weight. I wrote a pastiche of Marc Antony’s funeral speech in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that had a nice air of fire and brimstone to it. There is no need to go into all the gory details of all the poetic and dramatic flaws in my pastiche, I think it is quite sufficient to say that I was burying copyright and that the (not so) honourable men were pirates.
    • After a week or so, I realised that when I talked to anti pirates, they did not give me any answers. They were all doom and gloom and talked about how good it used to be in the good old days. The pirates gave me answers, albeit not always the ones I wanted. I asked how I would be able to control my work, and they said: “You can’t. You never could.” I asked how I would make money in a world were my work was available free online, and they said: “You have to find new ways.” But they said other things as well. When they talked about the future they talked about wonderful possibilities. The anti pirates talked with grim voices, the pirates spoke with voices filled with hope and creativity.
    • The pirates did not want to lock culture up in copyright and only let the highest bidder sneak a peak. They wanted to let it roam freely. They wanted it to belong to all of us. And, quite apart from popular, lobby sponsored understanding, they did not want artists to live in poverty in a shoebox on a motorway. They wanted to find ways for artists to earn money. They searched for new solutions to an old problem that had been there long before there even were any pirates.
  • fairly decent exposition of the problem of privacy in social networks

    tags: privacy social social networks networks perspective

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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