Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tuesday Trivia

There was a 'Super bowl' this weekend and I have to confess it wasn't until last wednesday that I knew who was playing (meanwhile my team keeps scoring goals some of which are spectacular).

Unless you live in the Arctic with a million penguins (and New York feels that way at the moment) you will have heard of the wikinovel idea launched last week. They are jumping on the wiki band wagon and you have to give them credit for the experiement but it is hard to see how anything coherent is going to come of this. The construct of the novel - some lone guy sitting naked in a room for months writing - doesn't travel far and certainly not to the collaborative mess that a wiki novel could create. That doesn't mean that creative expression that results in some type of novel-like work can't be done collaboratively just not the way we know it as yet. To me, it may end up like some weird combination of Penny Lane and Second Life.

With all my filters set to capture publishing related news and stuff the announcement from Library of Congress regarding a grant they recieved to digitize some text material seems to have slipped through. Thanks to the millionsblog for finding it. Millions also has a list with covers of all the Booker Prize long list books. (I've only read one of them).

In a similar vein, here is an article from BBC News looking at how governments could build libraries that preserve both digital and print versions of content. The article is a case study of the approach Canada has taken to begin preserving digital content.
Instead, the rules focus on online material that is considered to be in "publication" form......As part of the deposit process, publishers can choose between open access, which allows the public to view and download the publication through the internet, or restricted access, which limits public access to selected computer terminals at the LAC's main building in Ottawa. The LAC encourages publishers to select open access whenever possible.
I am not sure if this means anything, but in 1980 a hardback cost $14.00 and Levis 501's about $20. This year the Harry Potter book will be $35 and 501's cost $45. What's the problem? Here is a perspective from SeekingAlpha. (Oh and I still wear the same size).

From mediabistro here is a longer review of the recent NY Public Google fest. Nothing hugely new here:
On went the catchphrases at the one-day event, carefully designed to tell attending publishing industry types that if you're not moving with the digital times, you're just not a 21st Century publisher. And as the day wore on, it seemed as if the audience had been completely lulled into submission by the overly positive mood and the plentiful supply of food.
It was by many accounts quite the love-in. Was is Devo that said Are We Not Ludites?
And then, the moderator cut off questioning and the conference returned to its shiny, happy, artificial equilibrium. But for that single moment, the tension between Google and the publishing world was on display -– as well as the larger sense that there's no holding back the tide of change to an industry still struggling to understand what the digital age is all about. "The publishing industry has become increasingly irrelevant," said author and UnBound speaker Seth Godin in a recent telephone interview. "They need to stop thinking about selling paper, when the last big changes to that model took place over sixty years ago with popularization of the paperback."
Here is a link to Seth's new book. Not too good for him are we?

And here is a longer review of the new Amazon product wiki from O'Reilly.

Amapedia is very tag focused. They can be used for searching, navigating, and comparing. There are two different types of tags fact tags (very similar to Flickr's new machine tags - Radar Post) and category tags )such as Real-Time Strategy Games). The fact tags are name:value pairs such as Number of Factions. Most articles when only have a couple of category tags; they are supposed to answer the question "What is this?".

That's it for a while.

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