ENTRIES TAGGED "web content"

Digital publishing and the loss of intimacy

The cognitive overhead involved in reading a book has increased tremendously

Reading used to be an intimate experience. Even Amazon, the pioneer in digital publishing, branded its Kindle with a child reading alone under a tree. Books were specially designed to disappear into the background as much as possible, helped by a laundry list of conventions as to language, punctuation, format, and structure, thus allowing readers to direct all their attention and cognitive powers to the text at hand.

The first digital platforms made a decent job of emulating the traditional experience. Certainly, the overhead of managing an Amazon account is something readers could do without, but allowances had to be made. Black text on a white screen was still the reference, and great pains were taken to ease users into this new experience: options were few, and the physicality of the book was heavily reflected in the shape and size of the device.

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"None of this is good or bad; it just is"

Lev Grossman takes a pragmatic look at the changing state of authors, readers, and the definition of publishing: Self-publishing has gone from being the last resort of the desperate and talentless to something more like out-of-town tryouts for theater or the farm system in baseball. It's the last ripple of the Web 2.0 vibe finally washing up on publishing's…

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"Amazon Tax" Moves Forward in New York

A judge has dismissed lawsuits from Amazon and Overstock.com challenging New York's "Amazon tax," which was enacted last year. From the Associated Press: The law applies to companies that don't have offices in New York, but have at least one person in the state who works as an online agent — someone who links to a Web site and receives…

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PC Magazine Goes Web Only

PC Magazine's January 2009 edition will mark the end of its print run. A reduced staff will focus on the PCMag Digital Network. From paidContent.org: The magazine, which was started in 1982, has a storied history, but its print base eroded over the years as its core brand of journalism — news you can use while shopping for computers…

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Why Blogging and Social Media Shouldn't be Ignored

Consistent blogging and Web-based interaction often fall by the wayside when other projects demand attention, but venture capitalist Fred Wilson makes a compelling argument for keeping connectivity on the front burner. He charts the trajectory of a recent post focusing on Boxee, one of his investment companies: it went from a blog, to Techmeme, and then looped back into…

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Webcast Video: Why Publishers Should Care About SEO

See the full video from the TOC Webcast: "Why Publishers Should Care About SEO," with SEO expert Jamie Low.

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U.S. News Shifts Focus to Digital

U.S. News & World Report is pulling the plug on its regular print edition. From the Washington Post: The financially struggling magazine, which cut back to biweekly publication earlier this year, now plans to reinvent itself on the Web. While it will publish one print edition each month, according to staffers briefed on the decision, these will be entirely…

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What Cookbook Publishers Can Learn from the Music Industry

The maturation of music downloads offers a path for cookbook publishers.

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New Project Examines Close Reading and Web Collaboration

On Nov. 10, Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook will be read and discussed by seven readers in a new experiment that explores "close reading" and the mechanisms of online conversation. The project is the brainchild of Bob Stein, founder of Institute for the Future of the Book. Stein outlined the project's goals in an email announcement: Fundamentally this is…

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Analytics: Are Streams the New Hits?

The definition of an online video stream can mean different things on different sites. This kind of ambiguity hurts everyone involved.

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