Tech & Web stuff

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 16/08/2008

Eoin Purcell

Michael Hyatt buys an iphone (I want me one of those, I’d even buy out my phone contract for it too!)
Here

Harper Collins gets all cute with the iphone and their browse inside widget (Why always a marketing tool??)
Here

Snowcasing (Why are those Snowbooks people so very smart? Who knows but go them!)
Here & Here

The Postal Service mad and Loving the Feist too.
Eoin

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Everybody’s talking about VIDEO

Eoin Purcell

And why not
Isn’t it the hip, happening and trendy thing to do online theses days? They even have an award.

Aren’t we still a little amazed that YouTube was bought by Google for such an incredible chest of money? And isn’t the book world a flurry with news like Simon & Schuster’s new bookvideos.tv.

S&S have been smart. They have set up an accompanying YouTube site to make sure they are with the times.

Personally I don’t quite get the obsession with Book trailers. But who am I to argue with the marketers. if it works then go for it. I just wonder if it actually does. Movie trailers though do. And I say one for Wall E the upcoming pixar movie and cannot wait.

So maybe there is room for good, innovative Book Trailers.

Thinking about it
Eoin

More on imprints

Eoin Purcell

Why you ask?
A Little while ago I posted a fleeting thought on Random House and its imprint strategy. It kicked up a very small storm in the teacup that is my blog when one commentator called out one of the examples I used Michael Hyatt (CEO @ Thomas Nelson) among other things:

First, I will agree with you that consumers don’t care who publishes a book and that bookstores don’t merchandise books by publisher but by category. But the world of publishing is considerably deeper than just this. Agents and authors DO care about Imprints and what they bring to the table. They do matter.

The funny thing is, Jonathan had a valid point. But only as far as it goes.

Publishers have interests too!
It seems recently that publishing has been taking a beating. Supermarkets are getting better at selling books and forcing prices down and threatening the high street chains. Competition for quality authors is forcing advances and royalties higher with increasing numbers of high profile failures for celebrity driven titles. All the while publishers are told that they are saddled with an antiquated print product that is dying and that in ten years people will simply stop reading. But the alternative hasn’t made a good running just yet despite some positive press.

In the midst of all that it is a wonder anybody gets into the business at all. Never-mind people with fresh ideas and successful ones too. But they do. And they do it because they have reason to believe that they can make a living from it. What people forget sometimes is that although publishers like it keep authors happy and while seeing joy in the faces of readers is all very well, none of it matters a damn if it doesn’t put bread on the table.

Authors can like imprints as much as they want, heck they can see them as prestige or non prestige but the reality is that they create a confusing clutter especially when they proliferate. Marketing budgets get wasted and diffused, too many books get published and companies make less money because of them.

That to me is the reason that merits their elimination. Publishers have a right to make money, as much as they can. Author will do better in the long run too as will readers, both benefiting from better marketing, better selection, clearer thinking and hopefully richer publishers with greater luxury in the choice of books and authors.

Certainly that is the goal we should have in mind when we are thinking about imprints, the interest of publishers, neither the imagined preferences of authors and agents, nor even the desires of the reader (except when these are relevant to our interests) but the cold hard logic of getting out of the most the greatest attainable share of the profit.

If that sounds mercenary, that’s because it is.

Feeling better now after my rant
Eoin

Rich Multi-Media

Eoin Purcell

I may be biased but:
The RTE Election 2007 site has really triumphed for me this election. Firstly I am listening to the radio coverage (far superior to the television coverage) and watching the studio on web cam. That in itself was great but by far the best feature has been the liberal use of rich visual tools for displaying data and great access to that data. Excellent stuff.

If I had a favourite section, it would be Results Extra.

Tired but happy (as far as it goes)
Eoin

Maybe new media is arriving in Ireland

Check out the independents new look: Here

And the editors post abut it: Here

They actually want comments:

We’d also like to hear more from you – now you can post a comment on a selection of thought-provoking articles.

‘Today’s Paper’ enables you to browse through each day’s edition of the newspaper while additional content from our sister titles is also featured in channels such as Sport, Business and Entertainment. We’ve also created new Lifestyle and Health channels so you can stay “hip and healthy” with the minimum of fuss. New features such as Columnists and Editor’s Choice will highlight some of each day’s most interesting articles, while Most Popular will bring the articles you consider important to the fore.

Looking for more
Eoin

The Economist, cool? Who saw that coming?

Eoin Purcell

Project Red Stripe
Maybe its the inter-company rivallry (what with a million penguins at penguin) in the Pearson stable (though they only own 50%), maybe its just a heady year or two in media but THIS is definitely a cool idea:

We’re a small team set up by The Economist Group, the parent company of the eponymous newspaper. Our mission is to develop truly innovative services online. We already have some ideas, of course. But as champions of free markets, we abhor the concept of a closed system. This is why we would like you to submit your idea (or ideas). Just think big – and we’ll do the rest.

They are accepting ideas here and have suggestions and hints here oh and Jeff Jarvis mentions them here.

Loving the name and the cool-ness of it all
Eoin