Month: February 2008

Penguin go innovating again

Not happy with the biggest and bravest attempt at storytelling experiments, A Million Penguins (Discussed on this blog here & here), Penguin are going to take another crack at it with a new site and a new project. I signed up for the project here:Pengrin
Not sure what it means, but Jeremy Ettinghausen, Penguin’s Digital Publisher has some words on it here:

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that in a few weeks Penguin will be embarking on an experiment in storytelling (yes, another one, I hear you sigh). We’ve teamed up with some interesting folk and challenged some of our top authors to write brand new stories that take full advantage of the functionalities that the internet has to offer – this will be great writing, but writing in a form that would not have been possible 200, 20 or even 2 years ago. If you want to be alerted when this project launches sign up here – all will be revealed in March.

I’m watching with much interest,

Thank you The Dubliner

Eoin Purcell

I posted recently about The Dubliner’s post about blogs and the media: here
I commented on the blog and thought little about it after until I got an e-mail from the Editor to say they had printed some of the responses as letter and had chosen mine as the letter of the bunch. Apparently that means I get a free meal in Rolys. SWEET!

Pleased and looking forward,

The Simple Mechanics: Comments on the caucus blog @ the NYT

Eoin Purcell

Sometimes its the simple things that cause the most trouble
The Caucus Blog is one of the best innovations I have come across in the US Election* (And by picking it I don’t mean to diss any of the dozens of other Main Stream/Net Native and Personal Election blogs out there). The New York Times has accomplished a lot with this blog, posting just enough to keep interest alive (look at the comment counts), posting material that would never reach the paper, live blogging events and tying together a really wonderful all round election coverage.

But they posted today about comments and I think it goes to the heart of the issue for publishers of all sorts, be they newspapers, books or magazines:

Passions are hot; tensions are high. We’re facing yet another series of extremely competitive contests in the Democratic presidential primary race, and many of you have chosen your candidate and ardently defend your choice on this site.

But if you choose to offer your comments here, please refrain (we ask again) from name-calling. None of you deserve to be called an idiot, a moron, a juvenile, racist or sexist.

There is more and you should read it too because it hits all teh problem buttons when it comes to comments. My key concern is the anonymity one though:

Third, we will continue to ask that you use a name as close to your own as possible. We discourage people from trying to post under several names or aliases or nicknames. It’s dishonest and unfair to others who assume they’re reading a thread with many voices, as opposed to repetitive chatter.

I can’t agree more, the use of pseudonyms just ruins discussion boards and enables commentors to go astray so easily. It encourages rapid and wild statements without fear of repercussion. I wish the web was so transparent that everyone knew who everyone else was. It would make policing comments easier, make providing forums like The Caucus Blog easier and generally make teh web a better place, and I know many people disagree but I just cannot help but feel anonymity has led us down the wrong track on the web.

You won’t change my mind,

* The ACTUAL election is going to be such a let down after the Democratic contest ends! Whenever that is.

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 18/02/2008

Eoin Purcell

As per usual Kassia gets it right where other just try (I include myself in the others category)

Why this is news to anyone I really, really do not know: Discounting Can Be Detrimental!

John Scalzi (New Favourite Author – I’ve read the Old Man’s War trilogy in less than a week taking out the delivery times) has a rant of epic and amusing proportions about the SFWA election. Well worth reading for the passion and sense he projects, firmly.

I’ve got books, anyone want them?

Eoin Purcell

Update Two: All Gone Folks

Update: Two went within the first half hour but remarkably there is still one left! Tuesday 9.30 AM GMT

It pays to work for a publisher
in what can be described as a moderately innovative trial I have been given some books to disperse

3 Copies of The Wordmdigger’s Daughter by John Farrell

Molly and her husband Frank work on a large country estate in the 1920s. Hardship has already claimed the lives of three of their four children. Their remaining child, twelve-year-old Angel, is the focus of all their love and hope for the future. When Molly overhears a friend of the master of the estate lay claim to their young daughter, they steal away in the dead of night and take to travelling the roads of Ireland. Falsely accused of stealing from the estate, they become fugitives.

Now branded as criminals, they disguise Angel as a boy to avoid being identified as the thieves who fled the estate. They are helped by sympathetic farmers along the road but their lives are governed by the terror of being discovered, and above all, by their fear of what will happen to their daughter if they are caught. Their only hope lies with the ‘Brotherhood’ and with some influential Americans who befriend them, offering the possibility of escape – but at a terrible price.


The first three e-mails to commissioning AT mercierpress DOT ie get em (include your address for posting).

This is fun!