This two-part essay attempts a survey of electronic media developments in the book industry and their impact on the creative talents and skill-sets required of authors, writers, editors and production people in order to produce new forms of content organization and media mix.
As you probably know, The New York Times posted an online discussion
about the cost of college textbooks. They posted short articles by people from various aspects of the issue and allowed for comments by readers.
Not long ago, The New York Times ran a piece on IBM’s Watson. Watson is their latest version of an artificial intelligence machine.
In my last post, I wrote about—heck, I guaranteed—that XML wasn’t going anywhere. I’m usually not such a big trash talker, but I firmly believe this—mostly because you can use XML to future-proof content, as well as the fact that putting any structured tagging in your content could be leveraged, even if XML goes away. Which it won’t (I know, nice English).
A few years back, I was giving a presentation about all the wonderful things our company was going to be able to do with XML, and that we should get to it. Only thing was, our company was in the midst of being acquired by a major Dutch company that had a pretty strong reputation in their handling of XML (names have been omitted to protect the innocent).
You can take the New Yorker out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the New Yorker. This is an important benefit if you are an ex-New Yorker (New York City, that is) like me, living upstate in the Hudson Valley and boarding before-dawn Metro North trains that get me to Grand Central Terminal in time for breakfast meetings, such as the one I just attended in the auditorium at the McGraw-Hill Building on Avenue of the Americas and 49th Street.
Back during Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign, advisor James Carville famously kept a sign in his office that said: “It’s the economy, stupid.” It served to keep the campaign focused, despite the many distractions of the campaign, on an issue that their polling showed mattered MOST to most people. It was an offshoot of the KISS principle: Keep it Simple, Stupid (how come all slogans seem to assume I’m stupid?).
It seems every week I receive a press release or read a news article about a new e-book exclusivity agreement an author has struck with Amazon. This week, it was best-selling science fiction author F. Paul Wilson.
According to the press release I received from Amazon, Wilson has made five of his books available in the Kindle Store exclusively for one year using Amazon's e-book self-publishing tool, Digital Text Platform.
I like to think I'm a pretty easy-going guy. I don't usually get mad at too many things, and try to take a reasoned, fact-based approach to issues. But I have to admit, nothing gets my blood boiling quite like the debate over pricing of digital content.