Sunday, September 19, 2010

Media Week (Vo 3) No 39: iPad, Bookless Library, Nick Hornby, Sex Pistols

The Economist on how the iPad is transforming media firms while at the same time frustrating them:

The iPad’s effect on media firms extends well beyond its screen. The device contains a web browser as well as an app store, bringing together the world of paid content and the open web, where print content tends to be free. It is as though a news-stand carried two versions of every magazine—one costly, the other inferior but free. Media firms that were already coming to believe that the web is a mediocre advertising platform have drawn a stark conclusion: they should pull back from the free web. Time magazine has begun to hold back some stories from its website, on the ground that it is now providing a decent digital alternative.

Time Inc is moving towards all-access pricing, in which content is available on all platforms to people who pay for it. This is in line with the “TV Everywhere” plan developed by Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner’s chief executive. Others are likely to follow. James Moroney, publisher of the Dallas Morning News, says the release of a paid iPad application later this year is likely to coincide with the erection of a paywall on the website. It is illogical to charge for one but not the other, he says.

Nick Hornby and Ben Folds have joined in an unlikely combination to release an album. News about a combo book idea are thus far unconfirmed. (Observer):

It's not a musical act that's going to have Simon Cowell quaking in his boots, but then this isn't the collaboration they're about to launch on the charts. Next week the pair release their joint album, Lonely Avenue, for which Folds – the platinum-selling frontman of 90s indie-rock outfit Ben Folds Five – provides the music and Hornby has written the lyrics (disappointingly he's not evident on backing vocals, despite the fact that Folds tells me his partner has "quite a nice voice").

The resultant collection of wry, tender songs tackles subjects as eclectic as divorce, attack dogs, infatuation and, perhaps most unexpectedly, Sarah Palin's almost-son-in-law Levi Johnston. Each track is a mini-narrative: there's the middle-class man trying in vain to empathise with his trailer-trash neighbour ("Your Dogs"); there's the ageing one-hit wonder whose sole success ("Belinda") inadvertently lost him his wife. And while the music is shot through with the pair's downbeat humour, it's also unashamedly melancholic – this is music for the generation that has seen it all, done most of it and is now sitting in the kitchen with a half-empty bottle, wondering what it all meant.

According to Robert McCrum in the Observer the 'dark threat of digitization' is being underestimated (Observer):
Sometimes the cultural analyst who puts himself in the middle of the information superhighway ends up looking like Bugs Bunny in the path of a runaway Mack truck.
Maybe you'll agree with me after reading the short article that that sentence reads better as a suggestion.

Rafat Ali who started PaidContent is looking for new opportunities and is thinking hard about the travel segment (Poynter):
Poynter: Can you tell me more about your intentions with mobile and things you want to do?

Ali: It's obvious that the scope for reinvention of the guidebook is on the mobile platform. Clearly, online there are too many sources of information. Most people start their research on Google.

So how do you as a startup or an established brand rise above the noise? I think on the mobile platform that becomes slightly more clear, because by the time you've reached the mobile platform, you've already done pre-research of where you want to go.

At a destination ... you need a guide, whether that's a printed guide or a mobile guide. Just making an e-book out of a guidebook is not enough. Some of the guide companies have done that. That's not even taking advantage of the medium, which is a live medium. Mobile is a connected medium, so there a lot of things that you can do. And that's what I'm trying to figure out.
Nothing's sacred: Sex Pistols gamble with debut ad soundtrack (BrandRepublic). Admittedly, I did miss the perfume story which may be even more of a sell out. Really, what a load of bollocks.

A theme I am working on for an upcoming speech: The bookless library (IHE)

Some libraries, such as the main one at the University of California at Merced, and the engineering library at Stanford University, have drastically reduced the number of print volumes they keep in the actual library building, choosing to focus on beefing up their electronic resources. In fact, some overenthusiastic headline writers at one point dubbed Stanford’s library “bookless.” But that is “a vision statement, not a point of fact,” says Andrew Herkovic, the director of communications for Stanford’s libraries.

San Antonio says it now has the first actual bookless library. Students who stretch out in the library’s ample study spaces — which dominate the floor plan of the new building — and log on to its resource network using their laptops or the library’s 10 public computers will be able to access 425,000 e-books and 18,000 electronic journal articles. Librarians will have offices there and will be available for consultations.

Students used to get their engineering and technology books from a collection at the campus’s main library. That collection is still there, and books from it are available upon request. But at the new library dedicated to that specialty, the only dead trees are in the beams and furniture.

The fact that San Antonio has actually built a literal version of what many in the industry hold up as symbol of the inevitability of electronic as the prevailing medium in academe may be commendable, but it is not “earth-moving,” says Roger Schonfeld, the managing director of Ithaka S+R, a nonprofit that promotes innovation in libraries and elsewhere. Many libraries, especially science and engineering ones, have started moving their print volumes out of the building and into remote storage.

From the twitter:

What's the secret of Secret Daughter. Globe&Mail Publishers still have no idea.Keep guessing.An industry like no other

UK weekly Books And Media Direct: Emma Donoghue is still favorite for the Booker on social networks Books&Media

Prisa Studies IPO For Santillana - WSJ Message to Pearson: Make up your mind?

ACRL Report Offers Guidance for Measuring Value of Academic Libraries ACRL

Thomson Reuters to launch next generation desktop Reuters "Twitter-like social media functions" for financial prof'ls

PND Mascot still not home
and still recuperating at the Vet. Scottish stoicism in play. No date on return home though. Image

In sport, three goal Berbatov. Magnificent. (BBC)

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