Much of interest here. I was thinking too that, at the very least, one could replace the word journalism with the word publishing and even now still be correct:
This is data journalism, capital-D. Within that, we take a foxlike approach to what data means. It’s not just numbers, but numbers are a big part of this. We think that’s a weakness of conventional journalism, that you have beautiful English language skills and fewer math skills, and we hope to rectify that balance a little bit.
That said, Nate’s book, the Signal and the Noise was less good than it mifht have been. A good third of it might have been left out to good effect. Hopefully with the new FiveThirtyEight he will build a nice platform.
Beastly goings on
There have been a few pretty big moves in the last few days towards what seem (At least to me) sensible models for getting digital and quickly. The first is Tina Brown’sThe Daily Beast‘s deal with Perseus Press that the NYT featured yesterday:
Ms. Brown said that Beast Books would select authors from The Daily Beast’s cadre of writers, most of whom are paid freelancers, to write books with quick turnarounds. She said she planned to publish three to five books in the first year.
The beauty of the deal though is that they making digital first publications:
Beast Books, that will focus on publishing timely titles by Daily Beast writers — first as e-books, and then as paperbacks on a much shorter schedule than traditional books.
I rather hope this works, it certainly sounds like a good news story if it does. The model seems sensible, it capitalises on the eyeballs the Daily Beast is dragging and as The Big Money puts it in a sensible and thoughtful paragraph:
The good news is that this is exactly what digital publishing needs to fuel its growth: a product ideally suited to a new technology. Brown’s entry into the field validates the idea of writing specifically for the Kindle and its competitors, a huge vote of confidence in the tools. The less-great news is that for all of Brown’s talent for attention-getting, the Daily Beast may not have the right content to drive sales. Which just might be the point of the whole deal—with Brown using the book deal as a back door to better content.
In what it bills as an industry-defining moment — though rivals are sure to be skeptical about that — Disney Publishing plans to introduce a new subscription-based Web site. For $79.95 a year, families can access electronic replicas of hundreds of Disney books, from “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too” to “Hannah Montana: Crush-tastic!”
DisneyDigitalBooks.com, which is aimed at children ages 3 to 12, is organized by reading level. In the “look and listen” section for beginning readers, the books will be read aloud by voice actors to accompanying music (with each word highlighted on the screen as it is spoken). Another area is dedicated to children who read on their own. Find an unfamiliar word? Click on it and a voice says it aloud. Chapter books for teenagers and trivia features round out the service.
I like this idea because it is heading more towards the type of product that can win the battle for attention and hold its own against numerous distractions. What is more, a site like this (and being a site is crucial) has a certain seamless quality, it fits into the web rather than standing aside from it in a “connected” device. It will simply be a rich content website that you happen to pay for! That is important! that, I believe, is the future.
Both these moves are taking big publishing digital very rapidly. This is a space to watch! Eoin
I guess it is!
Blurb has moved out of their beta and will be launching their new blogslurp product very soon. This product sounds intriguing. I would certainly consider the product if they adapt to allow WordPress blogs as they suggest they will soon! Here
Quality post on citizen journalism, a topic I am currently more than a little hooked on. Here
I challenge you not to find this amusing, annoying, upsetting, challenging and yet in some ways ever so slightly on some points entirely correct. Good old Guardian. Here
I know there are many folk out there who like their tea. I do too. Seth Godin, a blogger I very much like has a great lens over at Squidoo on tea at good prices. Here
This not of use to most people (And not to me yet, but someday) but I do love the idea. I have found transport and public transport in new cities exceptionally frustrating to figure out. Paris and London are great and straight forward. Chicago has an excellent planner but many cities are just hopeless and their websites difficult to navigate. Google seems to be spreading its Google Transit idea further afield and offering a way of getting your towns data up on there! Here
The news doesn’t look too good for print news. If you have read many of my posts on this topic you will know that I don’t fully buy the whole print will die thing. Radio has not gone anywhere. Sure it’s not the force it was at it height but it still makes money and has adapted (Albeit painfully) to the new reality. Still this post from The Editors Weblog [via Buzzmachine] is interesting because it gives a French perspective and one particular Frenchman: Arnaud Lagadère. Here
Seems like a lot of news to down the spirits of journalists. Though this news, I think, should really cheer them up. NewsAssignment.net has been given a $100,000 financing gift by Reuters. Looks like the project will definitely float now which is exciting. Here & Here
Jennifer Jackson has an interesting post today about connections, agent vs. author time and some other stuff all riffing off a post she highlights. Both are worth reading. Here & Here
Find of the Month
Just read two posts by Bloglily which I can only describe as some of the best blog posts ever. One of the great things about WordPress is that it has an exciting and vibrant set of bloggers who are deeply into writing, prose and literature. Ranging from Litlove’s Tales from the Reading Room to Bloglily’s site there is so much on offer. I have decided today that Bloglily is my Find of the Month for September 2006. Why?
Because she is so full of enthusiasm for everyone’s work, because her discussion is free and open and elegant, because she never disappoints with a post and because her encouragement and spirit are inspirational to everyone.
Go visit BL Here.
Sometimes there is just so much out there on the web it is hard to narrow down what to link to. Because of that I have decided today to do link clusters, a couple of links around each idea/concept. We will see how it works!
Promoting a book especially early in a career presents challenges in the modern atmosphere. A great post on the value of free from Jurgen Wolff’s blog should be read and his Gurellia Tactics post should not be ignored either. But by far the most impressive post to date is from A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing and is a manifesto in a post if ever I saw one. Read it; it is called Do Something and if you do not get inspired to promote your book more effectively then I just don’t know.
I know I bemoaned memes the other day and so this is exceptionally hypocritical BUT the idea just got in on me. Stainless Steel Droppings Blog has launched the Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) Autumn Challenge and the line up is impressive to say the least. You should follow SOMEOFTHE LINKS as they are pretty much all great book-blogs!
So there has been some incredible chat recently on Self-Publishing. Read the Blurberati Blog for the skinny on what is going on in the world of innovative self publishing facilitators. Read Wired.com for industry reaction and read OrganicResearch (2 different posts) for some illuminating consideration. Marginal Revolution is sceptical (like all good economists I say) and finally for something COMPLETELY different.
That is about all I can reasonably fit it for today (And yes I am vaguely conscious that it is only technically the 1st for many readers but even though it is 40 minutes from the first where I am it feels like the 1st) Eoin
I am very excited about this project NewsAssignments.net if only because I see it as a fantastic model for publishing in general. If it works for news I can see no reason why it will not work for books of all kinds!
There are many opinions on this project and not all of them favourable but I remain sure it will have excellent results and ones favourable for journalism, reporting and the professional side of the industry too.
Read more on the topic, concept and progress by Jay Rosen Here
Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine has some thoughts too Here