Sunday, April 28, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, N17): Amazon Taxes and Apps, New Magazines, Fixing Higher Ed, Library Budgets + More

Short takes from the New Statesman:
Over 150,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the UK government take “decisive action [to] make Amazon pay its fair share of UK corporation tax”. The petition drafted by Frances and Keith Smith, independent booksellers from London, was inspired by Margaret Hodge’s questioning of representatives from Google, Amazon and Starbucks last November.
John le Carré has published his 23rd novel: A Delicate Truth. The team behind Skyfall and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy have made a short film to celebrate. Watch it here
Paper Airplanes is a great title for this article about a new body of travel magazines (Independent):
And yet, as if to counteract this, there is a growing body of beautifully designed, weighty magazines that are very much about digging deep into a place. The geographical place first, but also the happenings, the history, the beauty and the deprivation. They are locally focused, yet global, rather than parochial; and it's not a coincidence that some of the most successful versions are labours of love.

Boat Magazine is aptly named. The office, run by husband and wife Davey and Erin Spens, is based in London, but it moves to a new city each issue. They gather up the most talented writers and photographers they can find, take them to the city they're featuring, cover their travel, food and living costs in lieu of paying them for their work, and – in Erin's words – "set them loose". They migrate for at least five weeks, and live together while collecting the content for their issue.

When Boat began, it had a strap that read 'the antidote to lazy journalism', but Davey and Erin quickly scrapped that because they didn't want to pit themselves against anything. They just wanted to do more. "Once we talked to more people and [heard] their stories, the cities were so different to how they were portrayed on the news," says Erin. They've had four issues so far – first Sarajevo, then Detroit, London and Athens. They've just had a special-edition newspaper about Derry-Londonderry, this year's UK City of Culture. Next stop: Kyoto, set to be published in May. "It's really fun," she says. "It's manic adrenaline the whole time."
Fixing higher ed should be done faster. Why are they waiting? From Inside Higher Ed:
Yet we’re slipping. Simply put, our graduation rates are too low, our costs are too high, and too many students are slipping through the cracks. Reformers -- and universities themselves -- grasp these realities and want wholesale changes that will fundamentally alter how we think about higher education.

Those long-term battles are important, even necessary. New innovations in distance learning and nontraditional degrees may provide new pathways for students. But such changes may take decades. In the meantime, we have millions of college students taking on ever-higher debt loads for a long, winding road to a degree. We need to make immediate changes to affirmatively lower costs – not just “increase affordability” – while we raise graduation rates. We need to work within the existing framework to do what we’re already doing, but do it better and cheaper.
Library Journal discusses an interesting report into library budgets and serials pricing (LJ)
Meanwhile, sequestration is not going to make state and local funding problems any easier. Historically, the federal government provides about one-quarter of all state revenues, and owing to sequestration, the federal government is now poised to make deep spending cuts. If a significant portion of sequestration is left in place, federal funding for schools and other non-entitlement grants to states are on track to reach their lowest levels in four decades, measured as a share of the economy.

The lack of public funding translated to flat funding in libraries. Data from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) shows that median total expenditures for ARL libraries dropped slightly from 2011 to 2012 ($24,052,161 to $24,000,677). Since the ARL members are a mixture of public and private organizations, increases in expenditures by the private universities helped offset declines in spending from the public universities and the overall result was a slight decrease in expenditures.

There is good economic news out there, but most libraries that rely on public funding have not fully recovered from the recession. Flat budgets and ongoing inflation in costs are forcing libraries to continue to find creative ways to keep current services. In this environment, disproportionate serials prices are thrown into greater relief.
Anyone considering app building needs to consider Amazon as this report from Techcrunch makes clear:
Amazon doesn’t share details on how well its Amazon Appstore apps sell, but according to mobile app analytics firm App Annie, the app marketplace is seeing growing traction among developers. The company surveyed over 1,500 developers, and found that 22.5 percent of them were now publishing to the Amazon Appstore, and half of that group (50 percent) cited the game category on the Amazon Appstore as their leading revenue driver. Previous reports have confirm roughly the same thing: that Android developers are turning to Amazon’s Appstore in greater numbers, and are seeing the benefits. Amazon Appstore’s revenue per user tops that of Google Play, or even iOS, in some cases. Last summer, for example, mobile gaming startup TinyCo, was saying that its revenue per user was higher on Amazon than on iTunes or Google Play. However, another report from Flurry said that iTunes was number one, and Amazon was in second place in terms of its revenue generation capabilities. Flurry had found that for every $1 spent on the iOS store, Amazon’s store generated $0.89, and Google Play $0.23.
From my twitter feed this week:

Apple Passes 45B Total Unique App Downloads At A Rate Of 800 Per Second With Over $9B Paid To Devs A $1bill/quarter
Netflix Beats Analyst Estimates, With 29.2 Million US Subscribers And $1 Billion In Q1 Revenue
British Library feels the Arab wrath: Balfour Declaration is going to Israel 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, N16): Neil Gaiman at London BookFair, Amazon shorts, Libraries +More

Author Neil Gaiman addressed the crowds at London Book Fair last week and it may not have gone well.  "All I remember from the musicians union was that I got these yellow stickers" (YouTube)



From the New York Times on Amazon singles.

Besides luring luminaries like Ms. Orlean, Mr. Blum has tried to maintain the brand’s prestige by tightly limiting the number of offerings. Although the digital bookshelf is infinite, Kindle has posted only 345 Singles since its inception in January 2011, according to the company’s figures. (As of March 20, the company says, about 28 percent of the works have sold more than 10,000 copies, and nearly 8 percent have sold over 50,000 copies.)
Evan Ratliff, chief executive and co-founder of Atavist, said one thing his company likes about Singles is that it doesn’t accept every submission. “They actually make a concerted effort to find something great,” he added. “While we might disagree on the specifics of what that is, our overall sensibilities are aligned.”
But while remaining choosy, Mr. Blum takes a special pride in nurturing undiscovered authors. A favorite is Mishka Shubaly, a musician and recovered alcoholic who under Mr. Blum’s tutelage has written three best-selling memoirs on Kindle Singles.
Interesting short article on how a small libary consortia is battling declining budgets and circulation: (NJ)
The township library has launched a smart-phone and tablet application that enables users to get into the electronic catalog, renew borrowed books and place holds on other books. It also connects them to New Jersey’s digital library, where they borrow e-books and scan bookstore ISBN codes to see if Wayne’s collection carries the book before they decide to buy it. The Bergen County Cooperative Library System plans to release a similar app this summer.
"The number of smart-phone users is constantly going up," said Robert White, director of the consortium of 73 local libraries in Bergen and Hudson counties. "We have to do something to meet their needs."
 From twitter:
"Although many other U.S. newspapers have shrunk, the Philadelphia Inquirer has suffered more..."
James Joyce's Leopold gets his own book for Bloomsday
In sports, Manchester United pick up their 20th title with a month to spare Guardian

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bangkok 1968: Emerald Buddha


This would have been one of our first visits to see the sights after we arrived in Bangkok in 1968.  That's my brother and I on the plinth.  Interesting to see more Thai's in the picture than white tourists.  That isn't the case today.


Check out my book on Blurb in print and iPad versions.

If you want to make your own here's a link for $20 off your first book.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Follett acquires higher ed tech firm BetterKnow

Is the announced acquisition of BetterKnow a sign of innovation in the Follett higher education group? Under new CEO Mary Lee Schneider the company has made few announcements since she moved from the board to the CEO role but this could be an indication that Follett is committed to investing in new technology, services and business models to support their position in the higher ed market.

From the press release:
BetterKnow's products, combined with Follett's footprint on more than 1,000 college and university campuses in North America, will provide instructors and students broader, more affordable access to course materials.

Instructors can identify course materials from a wide variety of sources, including traditional textbooks, digital materials, videos and even open source content. Instructors will be able to read reviews, make their adoptions and collaborate with their peers teaching the same subject across institutions all in one place.

Students can go to one place to find and purchase the specific course materials required for their classes. They can compare prices across a variety of content formats and channels, and can choose their preferred option for delivery, either digitally or physically. When done in conjunction with an existing on-campus location, Follett can coordinate purchases with the student's Financial Aid account.

"Providing instructors and students with the tools they need to identify, access and acquire a broad variety of relevant course materials is critical to students' success," said Mary Lee Schneider , President and CEO, Follett Corporation . "Follett's integrated solution will create a simpler, more affordable way to deliver content in both digital and physical formats."

The BetterKnow acquisition will also directly support Follett's ground breaking includED® program, which positions institutions to improve student outcomes by providing course materials as part of tuition or fees. The program, which has been successfully piloted and is ready for rapid expansion this spring, is designed to ensure students can conveniently obtain all of their required course materials.

"BetterKnow's technology will help us more efficiently integrate access to content with Student Information Systems at our partner schools," said Tom Christopher , President of Follett Higher Education Group. "This will help us to further grow our includED program, which ensures every student starts the first day of class with access to the same materials, providing a quick start to their coursework that we believe leads to better class engagement and achievement."

"The products we've designed and built will dramatically accelerate the use of digital course materials as we are able to eliminate key barriers to use," said Isaac Segal , Founder and CEO of BetterKnow. "Our Discovery service will enable faculty to more easily sort through and choose between a myriad of course material options available to them, ensuring that the best material can be found and utilized to meet pedagogical goals. Follett has a deep and direct reach into higher education, enabling us to quickly bring these solutions directly to campuses."


Tech Therapy: Publishers Explain costs of Journal Publishing

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed a 20 minute interview with Fred Dylla, executive director at the American Institute of Physics, and Brian D. Scanlan, president of Thieme Publishers on the costs of publishing journals.

LINK to the article
Academic journals don’t happen by magic, and even online editions are expensive to produce in ways that scholars may not realize. That’s the argument by two scholarly publishers,  The two give their response to comments by our guest from last month’s show, a scholar who argued that in an online world journals should publish scholarly articles free online.

Download this recording as an MP3 file, or subscribe to Tech Therapy on iTunes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, N15): Digital Minds, Mendeley, Cal State Edx, Le Carre, + More

Fun to experiment - View this in Flipboard: http://flip.it/GoiH1

From the digital minds pre-conference at London Book Fair over the weekend this summary from The Bookseller:
Author Neil Gaiman, in a wide-ranging and complex talk, said people in the book business needed to become more like 'dandelions', experimenting by spreading numerous seeds around and accepting that most would fail. "The model for tomorrow is try everything, make mistakes, fail, fail better."
Gaiman took his analogies back to prehistoric days saying that print books could be like sharks, an animal that evolution has never bettered, but that there were still some dinosaurs in the business, for whom digital could be the end. "Books (some) may be sharks", but "home libraries" and "encyclopedias" were not, with both displaced by the web and portable reading devices. He said he recognised that the e-book was here when he daughter started reading off an early version of the Kindle on a trip to Hungary where printed English-language books were not available. For older readers he said the ability to increase font-size was the "killer app".
Gaiman said we were moving from a world where gatekeepers were necessary, to one where guides were essential. Gaiman said he would "sign anything", and said discoverability was best achieved not through a commercial transaction. "We don't normally find the people we love most by buying them, we discover them." Gaiman said he never wanted to go "to war" over this, instead he promoted "word of mouth".
From The New Yorker a view on the Mendeley/Elsevier tie up:
Elsevier has two reasons to buy Mendeley. One is to squash it—to destroy or coöpt an open-science icon that threatens its business model. Many critics fear that’s the case. The other reason is to possess the aggregated data that Mendeley’s users generate with all of their searching and sharing. Mendeley is still growing, with two million three hundred thousand users sifting through over a hundred million references. Their use patterns reveal who is reading what, which papers are popular, what lines of research are surging, which disciplines and journals are crucial, and a lot of other extremely valuable information.
No one has that kind of data at the scale of Mendeley. Mendeley had been selling access to segments of that data to publishers and other institutions, including Elsevier, as part of its business model. Now Elsevier owns all of that data. But if it wants users to continue generating streams of data, the company will have to play nice, which leaves it with something like the Facebook model: create software and a huge social network in which people share information that it can profitably harvest, and be just conciliatory enough about privacy, anyway, to repel fewer people than it attracts.
And Salon thinks about the data:
One common link is obvious: powerlessness in the face of corporate greed. But there’s another, slightly more subtle connection. When we use online services to gather together and share information, whether it be about our favorite romance novels, or most useful sets of bibliographic citations, we create persistent and accessible agglomerations of data. The more popular such services become, the more valuable that data becomes, and sooner or later, a big fish is going to come around and gobble it up. We personally may have never intended to sell out, but together we managed to create something that was bound to be sold. Inevitably, that data will be used to target us.

Techcrunch reports that Cal State is aggressively expanding their MOOC style offerings:
It appears that San Jose edX course is experiencing results similar to when universities switch from boring old lecture-style teaching, to a more interactive form. For instance, one University of California, Los Angeles biochemistry class experiment found a roughly 18% pass rate boost when it ditched lectures [PDF].
But, one-off experiments can often seem much more promising than reality, once they are brought to scale. When new-age pilots are broadened to environments with less-than-enthusiastic teachers and students, things can fall apart.
In the Guardian John LeCarre speaks about the genesis of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold but thinking who Leamas may have been in today's world:
The merit of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, then – or its offence, depending where you stood – was not that it was authentic, but that it was credible. The bad dream turned out to be one that a lot of people in the world were sharing, since it asked the same old question that we are asking ourselves 50 years later: how far can we go in the rightful defence of our western values, without abandoning them along the way? My fictional chief of the British Service – I called him Control – had no doubt of the answer:
"I mean, you can't be less ruthless than the opposition simply because your government's policy is benevolent, can you now?"
Today, the same man, with better teeth and hair and a much smarter suit, can be heard explaining away the catastrophic illegal war in Iraq, or justifying medieval torture techniques as the preferred means of interrogation in the 21st century, or defending the inalienable right of closet psychopaths to bear semi-automatic weapons, and the use of unmanned drones as a risk-free method of assassinating one's perceived enemies and anybody who has the bad luck to be standing near them. Or, as a loyal servant of his corporation, assuring us that smoking is harmless to the health of the third world, and great banks are there to serve the public.
From my Twitter feed:
Publishers May Pay To Preserve Saturday Delivery
Google Death: A Tool to Take Care of Your Gmail When You're Gone - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic  
Massive Volunteer Collective Proofreads 25,000 Public-Domain Books  
BBC News - 'Pompeii of north' being unearthed in London  
MOOCs and Libraries: Introduction,by Merrilee Proffitt /HangingTogether

Friday, April 12, 2013

London Calling - Covent Garden 1993


It was dusk and getting dark and I couldn't hold the camera still enough.  The busker (and his mates - one with a double base) is captured in full action as a result of camera shake but it works.

In those days children, the American mall atmosphere of today's Covent Garden was but a wishful hope of some government functionary or two.

Check out my book on Blurb in print and iPad versions.

If you want to make your own here's a link for $20 off your first book.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Croudsourcing Investments in Books: It will happen.

Eric Hellman over at the eponymously named Go To Hellman has an interesting idea that chips away at one of the last foundations of big publishing; the 'investment banking' attribute that big publishing brings to the industry.  Here's a snip from his blog post this week:
There's nothing intrinsic about crowd-funding that restricts this sort of fund-raising to unknown authors looking for a first advance. The JOBS act restricts the amount raised from "unqualified investors" to $1,000,000, so the really big name authors would have to tap the "qualified investor" funding market. (An individual with more than a million dollars in assets excluding home and vehicles is considered "qualified")

Once equity crowd-funding becomes established for books (and it WILL happen!), incumbent publishing houses will have lost, at a stroke, their oligopoly on books as investment vehicles. Already, publishers are outsourcing their design, editorial, production, distribution and sales functions; providing capital is their last bastion of essential function. They will have to participate in the new markets or they will dissipate into irrelevancy.
Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

OCLC's MOOC and Libraries Event Videos

From OCLC a selection of links to some of the sessions at last months Washington meeting on MOOCs and libraries:

MOOCs and Libraries event videos now available

The “MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?” event took place 18–19 March at the University of Pennsylvania and was broadcast live online. Hosted by OCLC Research and University of Pennsylvania Libraries, the event featured thoughtful and provocative presentations about how libraries are already getting involved with MOOCs, and engaged attendees in discussions about strategic opportunities and challenges going forward. More than 500 people participated in this event: 125 attended in person and more than 400 attended remotely online.
Links to the 11 individual videos and a MOOCs and Libraries video playlist that comprises all of these videos are available on the MOOCs and Libraries event page and on the OCLC Research YouTube Channel. Links to the presenters’ slides, the next steps document and the #mooclib archived tweets from this event also are available on the MOOCs and Libraries event page. Look to the OCLC Research blog, HangingTogether, for a short series of postings that recap presentation highlights and summarize outcomes from this event.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, N14): Window Cleaners, Museum Stores, Goodreads, Media News + More

Confessions of a window cleaner now back in print and coming from Harpercollins. (Independent):
While the films quickly ran out of steam, the books that inspired them didn't. Written by a former advertising executive called Christopher Wood under the pseudonym Timothy Lea, they ran to 19 titles, and Wood penned a further eight under the name of Rosie Dixon. They were overwhelmingly of their time (and there can be no better excuse), but it seems they are about to have their time again. Over the next 18 months, HarperCollins imprint The Friday Project will reissue all of them as e-books.
Good god, but why?
...
The cast of that film might well wish to quickly forget their involvement in it, much as many associated with the Confessions… films do today. Tony Booth, who played Timothy Lea's brother-in-law, declined an interview (much, you suspect, to his daughter Cherie Blair's relief); likewise Lynda Bellingham and Jill Gascoine, both presumably reluctant to revisit their early, naked screen appearances. Robin Askwith, for whom Confessions… proved a career high point, was prepared to give us an interview, but offered us just 20 minutes of his time in exchange for £500 – a figure greater than he would ever have received for cleaning windows.
There is, however, somebody happy to talk, for free – and that is the author himself. I meet Christopher Wood on a cold Thursday morning in a chic London restaurant. Now 77, Wood, elegant in his tweed jacket and wispy white beard, is terribly well spoken (he pronounces "off" as "orf"), and emits the kind of carefree air so common in older people and so envied by younger ones.
In the not really news category - The Observer notes the success of Museum stores that are popping up everywhere selling all kinds of things. (Observer):
Some of the more creative items appear to have been thought up in several eureka moments. St Paul's Cathedral harvested some of the rubble from recent refurbishments and set it into cufflinks. For £210 owners can now decorate their shirt cuffs with marble from the starburst under its famous dome.

Over at the National Theatre shop, the success of Warhorse – turned into a film directed by Steven Spielberg – led to the offer of a £2,500 half-size replica of the geese puppets used in the stage show, created by the puppeteers who made the originals.

At the Science Museum, shoppers can buy vases shaped as Thomas Edison's iconic light bulb, made from recycled incandescent bulbs. The museum has asked its inventor in residence, Mark Champkins, to create more unique items for it to sell.

However, perhaps leading the way in terms of creativity is the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. To celebrate London Underground's 150th anniversary, the creative heads there have salvaged luggage racks from old Metropolitan line trains – selling them for £250.
At The Atlantic Jordan Weissmann opines why he thinks Goodreads is so valuable to Amazon.
So Amazon has just bought the ecosystem where many of America's most influential readers choose their books. How exactly they'll use it isn't entirely clear yet. Some have suggested they'll integrate Goodreads into the Kindle experience. Others think that, given the problems Amazon has had with writers buying friendly reviews, they might use the site as an a big cache of trustworthy opinions. As David Vinjamuri put it at Forbes, "Goodreads offers Amazon the ability to transmit the recommendations of prolific readers to the average reader." In any event, there's plenty of value for Amazon to unlock. Assuming, of course, they don't do anything to muck up their new purchase.
The Economist as a quick look at news organizations and concludes:
Where is the good news? Last year local TV stations, especially those in swing states like Florida and Ohio, got a welcome boost from the $3 billion spent on TV advertising during the election. And newspapers are now starting in large numbers to demand payment for their digital content. Pew reckons that around a third of America’s 1,380 dailies have started (or will soon launch) paywalls, inspired by the success of the New York Times, where 640,000 subscribers get the digital edition and circulation now accounts for a larger portion of revenues than advertising.

Boosting circulation revenue will help stem losses from print advertising, since it has become clear that digital advertising will not be enough. For every $16 lost in print advertising last year, newspapers made only around $1 from digital ads. The bulk of the $37.3 billion spent on digital advertising in 2012 went to five firms: Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft and AOL. Not much Gandhian equality there.
From my Twitter Feed this week.

Scholarly Publishing: Project Muse and Highwire Press Announce Partnership PressRelease
In digital age, library finds difficulty attaching numbers to its value. Topeka CapitalJournal (They buried the lead).
CourseSmart Analytics Is a Bad idea | Inside Higher Ed InsideHigherEd
Amazon Takes on Dropbox With New Desktop File Syncing Wired
Rosetta Stone acquires Livemocha for $8.5m (Nick Summers/The Next Web) TNW
BBC News - Judge rules digital music cannot be sold 'second hand' BBC

Friday, April 05, 2013

Roof Top Gardens Midtown 1968


In the old days you used to be able to walk out onto these roof gardens as part of the tour of Rock Center - at least I assume so since I have a photo from this set of Mrs PND senior standing on the grass down there. Now you can get something of a view of them if you go to the top floor of SAKs which I did a few years ago but I would like to go out to one of these gardens just once.  I've guessed that this image was taken mid morning on a weekday and, assuming that, it is interesting to see how much less traffic there is both on the roads and on the sidewalks.

Check out my book on Blurb in print and iPad versions.

 If you want to make your own here's a link for $20 off your first book.


Thursday, April 04, 2013

Content Cashier

Buying content is way too cumbersome.  I don't mean the Amazon 1click buy but rather the individual article or chapter you might want to read.  We are seeing how video and audio (Netflix On Demand and iTunes for example) are morphing into single transaction type activities and this should happen for print.  Eliminating all impediments to the efficient sale or transaction of content should be the objective of any content owner yet with all the investment in online retail, publishing processes and efficient supply chains, the media industry has simply transferred the old models to the online world.  Outside of complete books, content is still very hard to transact on.

But there is a simple fix: I've long thought that content should carry with it a 'cash register' which would allow immediate purchase, rent or access (based on user rights).   I'll admit that metadata is not the industry's strong point but part of the reason metadata in media is generally so abysmal is that there is too much distance between the metadata owner and the transaction.  Tighten that space to where there's no difference and you'll see metadata improve fast.

Let's say a publisher wants to make a book chapter salable.  "Content Cashier" (TM pending) will provide the prospective buyer with a price for the type of transaction they want such as buy, rent, etc.  If they have a profile with "Content Cashier" this transaction will occur in the background with a simple acknowledgement (yes/no) that the customer wants to continue.  If not, the user will be able to pay via some other method (Paypal, Amazon) in less than 60seconds.

Publishers would attach their terms of use and pricing within a very simple framework - little different than if you were in a physical bookstore.  The bookstore experience assumes many things notably if you buy a book you are going to transact at the register and walk out with it.  "Content Cashier" will also take certain assumptions for granted about the transaction and the customer to simplify the pricing and the transaction itself.  In our model the publisher will pick up more than 95% of the value of the transaction (we haven't decided yet), but there is no reason why standard retailer discounts, commissions and other fees should apply when we've eliminated all the inefficiencies in the supply chain to shorten the gap between content and the buyer.

Other tools will allow a publisher to create collections and retail 'pop-up' storefronts that maximize their opportunities to reach out directly to customers.  The real benefit however will be that "Content Cashier" travels with the content so that at any time - meaning when the content is out of the control of the publisher - a transaction can be executed.  Pass a link via email, find the article in a database, or list the item on a course outline or LMS, no problem; "Content Cashier" will let the user pay for that content instantly.  When this type of instant transaction can be facilitated at the point of need publishers will begin to improve their metadata, simplify their pricing and engage in experiments with their customers to maximize their revenues.

Providing "Content Cashier" information on your content is likely to enable new business opportunities for new market entrants who want to use content as a component of a product with many more unique additional features and services they have developed.  Enabling these new models becomes far easier when a set of simple terms and conditions travels along with the content.  There are any number of new platforms, store ideas, collaborations, services and tools and these increase by the day.  Many are spurious, some are stupid but occasionally a really new idea will come along.  Since many of these new ideas fight for your attention and time why not make it easy for them, stop the guessing game and start to manage your retail opportunities in at proactive way.   That's what "Content Cashier" is all about.