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”

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 … Continue reading “Content Creation Without Publishers”

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! … Continue reading “The Decline of the Open Platform”

Self-Links: Isolation and Promotion

Nicholas Carr’s When links turn inward discusses Mark Coddington’s recent study, Building Frames Link by Link: The Linking Practices of Blogs and News Sites. Carr’s post is a good read, but in the following I refer directly to the study. Coddington analyzes the links in political articles drawn from three sample sets: Six big mainstream … Continue reading “Self-Links: Isolation and Promotion”

Social Networks and Google+

Social networks are coming under scrutiny since Facebook’s take-the-money-and-run IPO. Michael Wolff observed that Facebook is doomed to push advertising at ever lower rates, using ever more annoying methods, to ever more reluctant users. LinkedIn severed its relationship with Twitter following the latter’s ominous threats to third-party clients, likely intended to preserve Twitter’s ability to … Continue reading “Social Networks and Google+”

The Portal Problem

Rick Anderson at The Scholarly Kitchen has recently published two excellent articles on what he calls “The Portal Problem:” what will happen to traditional portals of learning now that we have the Internet? The Plight of the Britannica examines the demise of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s print edition. As Anderson is quick to point out, this … Continue reading “The Portal Problem”

Selling Apps on iOS

Two recent articles report very similar experiences regarding sales of two moderately successful iOS apps. Neither app was prominently featured by Apple, and both authors report that advertising and viral marketing had very little effect. In both cases, major review sites acted as gatekeepers and determined whatever success the apps had. Drew Olbrich’s educational app … Continue reading “Selling Apps on iOS”