Google Reader Fallout Hits Keep

People won’t shut up about Google’s termination of its essential Reader service. Ed Bott’s Embrace, extend, extinguish documents Google’s successful promotion of Reader as a universal RSS back-end, eventually forcing BlogLines to shut down and NewsGator to abandon its consumer business. The promotion continued until those two significant competitors were defeated, in September 2010. Just … Continue reading “Google Reader Fallout Hits Keep”

Google Reader Shuts Down

First, let’s look at the bright side. Google’s widely covered announcement to shut down Google Reader by the end of June will raise awareness of two important facts that the Internet-using public has been happy to ignore. The first is that “free” is a bad business model, as noted for example in David Crotty’s Perils … Continue reading “Google Reader Shuts Down” Stagnates

Hopeful Twitter competitor 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 … Continue reading “ Stagnates”

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 … Continue reading “Blogging healthy, RSS not so much”

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 … Continue reading “Happy Union of Print and E-book”

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 … Continue reading “Hollywood and Tolkien”

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 … Continue reading “Print Books Alive & Well”

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 … Continue reading “What’s Wrong With E-books”

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. … Continue reading “App Store Commoditization”

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 … Continue reading “Reviews for Sale”