Feed Stats on WordPress.com

I have just noticed a new feed stats link on my dashboard page in wordpress.com. Had a brief look, not that many people read this blog (yet) but it seems a very useful tool.

Look forward to more. I have been impressed by wordpress in the month or so that I have used it to host this blog. They seem to be rolling out new features to me all the time. I almost feel bad not paying for it!

Beta Books?? Strange but True.

It’s funny what the web will turn up. Surfing can lead you to strange ideas from people you never thought you would read or even think to look at.

While surfing today I discovered Adam Greenfield the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of a company called Site5 and on his blog I read about beta books.

The concept is brilliant and explained by Adam thus:

In my opinion, the best way PDF books are used by publishers is in the creation of “Beta Books”. This is a concept I was first exposed to by The Pragmatic Programmers, a publisher with a number of really great programming titles under their belt. A beta book is basically a PDF version of a rough copy of an upcoming title that is currently being finished up.

I checked out the links he provided to The Pragmatic Programmers and was even more impressed. It is incredible to think that this level of innovation is occurring on the edges of publishing and the majors are simply letting it wash by. It reminds me of edgio the aggregator of blog listings and the Newspaper industry or even Craigslist and its service.

Where you really want to look with The Pragmatic Programmers is here on the Beta Books FAQ page. There is a nice quote there explaining their rational:

We decided to trust our readers 🙂 Ultimately, we think the idea of giving you early access to this great material is important. It helps you out, and it’ll help us as we get feedback.

I can only hope programs like this one extend well beyond the fringe very soon.

More Innovation in Publishing?

Following on from my post on the Pulse promotional site I came across another innovation by way of Booksquare.

They linked to a Businessweek article on Project Caravan an initiative to get

books to be delivered simultaneously in five formats — hardcover, digital, audio, print-on-demand, and by chapter.

Booksquare finishes their post with a bald statement that

We realize it’s stating the obvious, but the publishing industry needs consumers more than consumers need the publishing industry.

I have to say I’m really unsure what issue they have with the idea of Project Caravan from the post, or indeed what the problem with the article is. I think they may be in favour of project caravan but against the coverage but it’s not clear. It seems sensible to me (though hardly a massively innovative idea as the Businessweek article points out).

Anyway both Booksqaure’s post (despite a little confusion that may just be me) and the Businessweek article are worth reading so go ahead.