Category Archives: Media

Commercial and social media

App.net Stagnates

Hopeful Twitter competitor App.net attracted a lot of attention last summer, as its initial growth spurt coincided with Twitter’s increasing hostility towards third parties. Could the service grow into a viable alternative to the big advertising-driven networks? I compiled a few snapshots of approximate user counts in two-month intervals. Month Users Growth Source 08/2012 7,600 […]

Blogging healthy, RSS not so much

People claim that dedicated personal weblogs and anonymous XML syndication are the past. The future belongs to the walled gardens of social networks where every user interaction is tracked for advertising profits. But are blogs and RSS feeds really dying, or are they just momentarily less prominent than Facebook’s Like circus? I dug up some […]

Happy Union of Print and E-book

Last December, The Scholarly Kitchen’s Joseph Esposito and O’Reilly Media’s Joe Wikert conducted a survey about people’s reading habits. This was an online survey, announced on the websites of Scholarly Kitchen, O’Reilly, and Forbes. So while the total number of around 500 respondents is rather small, we can reasonably assume it’s not biased towards technophobic […]

Hollywood and Tolkien

Robert X. Cringely has just finished his mini-series Silicon Valley conquers Hollywood 2013 (Setting the scene, There’s no business like show business, Think small, not big) with some great anecdotes on the highly irregular way Hollywood does business. A friend of mine who is a securities lawyer in New York worked on the 1985 sale […]

Print Books Alive & Well

Nicholas Carr’s Will Gutenberg laugh last? notes that (a) the growth in e-book sales has slowed substantially and (b) print sales are holding up pretty well. The Association of American Publishers recently reported that annual growth in adult e-book sales dropped to 34 percent during the first half of 2012, a sharp falloff from the […]

What’s Wrong With E-books

E-books have become quite popular in recent years, largely thanks to Amazon’s Kindle promotion. I own two devices suitable for e-book reading – an iPad 3 and a Sony e-ink reader, comparable to the Kindle Touch – and tried a variety of content over the months. Sadly, the results were rarely satisfactory, and some recent […]

App Store Commoditization

Making money in a crowded App Store: it’s dog eat dog and Spy vs Spy by Richard Gaywood laments what everyone knows: Apps and especially games on Apple’s iTunes generally cannot cost more than 99 cents. Price them higher, and customers will just wait for the inevitable price drop they have been trained to expect. […]

Reviews for Sale

Self-published writers proliferate, thanks to the Internet, but they face one big problem: How do you attract readers’ interest without a big publisher’s name recognition and marketing budget? David Streitfeld’s The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy examines the simplest though least ethical solution. Nobody expects online reviews to be a fountain of truth, but […]

Content Creation Without Publishers

For the longest time, spreading writing and music was a slow and expensive process. Writing had to be duplicated by clerks; music and other performance art had to be transmitted in person or in writing. Authors required generous patronage or considerable fame to enjoy widespread reproduction of their works, and usually derived no income from […]

The Decline of the Open Platform

Tim Anderson’s Mac App Store, Windows Store, and the decline of the open platform reports two complaints: Gabe Newell’s (Valve) about the upcoming Windows 8 app store, and Sherman Dickman’s (Postbox) about the existing Mac OS X app store. Newell hates losing his Steam business; Dickman hates conforming to app store restrictions. What a coincidence! […]