Outside magazine takes a look at Lonely Planet and wonders, Can it Survive?
Less than a year later, Kelley saw an opportunity. Lonely Planet, the Melbourne, Australia, guidebook company, seller of 120 million books, was struggling. In 2007, the BBC had bought Lonely Planet from its founders, Tony and Maureen Wheeler, for $210 million. Profits had since cratered due to the global recession, appreciation of the Australian dollar, and the struggling bonok industry.Never a big comics person but I've always been interested in their particular transition from print to web. Here a CNet story about the relationship between print and digital:
Kelley offered $77 million for the company and closed the deal on April 1, 2013. There was no search for a new boss; he'd already tapped Houghton to captain the sinking ship. A few weeks before closing, the president of BBC Worldwide, Marcus Arthur, announced the impending purchase. Houghton, who was less than three years out of college, made the rounds at Lonely Planet's international offices. In London, before he introduced himself, someone projected an image of the biblical scene of Daniel in the lion's den on a screen.
"That pissed me off," he recalls, "but I tried not to show it."
Staffers were predictably bewildered. "I figured there had to be more to the story than 'reclusive billionaire hires 24-year-old with no known experience to run the joint,' " a veteran Lonely Planet author e-mailed me. "But I think it's as silly and fucked-up as it sounds."
CEO David Steinberger said that the people have now downloaded 180 million comics since the app was released five years ago, a jump of 80 million from October 2012.A Daily Telegraph interview with Philip Roth:
As digital comics have become widely accepted by publishers, retailers, and readers, the format has not been without its growing pains. While comics are available digitally from a wide range of marketplaces, including Apple iBooks and Amazon, Comixology undoubtedly offers the widest selection of major North American publishers. That relationship to the marketplace caused havoc when , following a Marvel Comics giveaway.
Another controversy erupted a few months later, when Comixology pulled a new issue of the extremely popular comic book Saga from its .
It was an attempt to avoid a conflict with Apple, said Steinberger. "We put out a ton of books, almost 300 a week. It's tough to expect any channel to review every single one of those," he said.
“The struggle with writing is over” is a recent quote. Could you describe that struggle, and also, tell us something about your life now when you are not writing?Janet Napolitano is the newish President of the University of California System and recently had some comments on online education that caught some off guard (LATimes)
Everybody has a hard job. All real work is hard. My work happened also to be undoable. Morning after morning for 50 years, I faced the next page defenceless and unprepared. Writing for me was a feat of self-preservation. If I did not do it, I would die. So I did it. Obstinacy, not talent, saved my life. It was also my good luck that happiness didn’t matter to me and I had no compassion for myself. Though why such a task should have fallen to me I have no idea. Maybe writing protected me against even worse menace.
Now? Now I am a bird sprung from a cage instead of (to reverse Kafka’s famous conundrum) a bird in search of a cage. The horror of being caged has lost its thrill. It is now truly a great relief, something close to a sublime experience, to have nothing more to worry about than death.
Napolitano, who took over at UC in September, made her remarks Monday during an appearance sponsored by the Public Policy Institute of California. Some 500 spectators were present in person and, ahem, online. Her remarks can be seen on YouTube here.From Twitter:
Asked by PPIC President Mark Baldassare about UC initiatives in the online space, Napolitano moved promptly to separate fact from fantasy. She called the development of online courses merely "a tool for the toolbox."
For higher education, she said, "It's not a silver bullet, the way it was originally portrayed to be. It's a lot harder than it looks, and by the way if you do it right it doesn't save all that much money, because you still have to have an opportunity for students to interact with either a teaching assistant or an assistant professor or a professor at some level."
As for preparing the courses, "if they're really going to be top-quality, that's an investment as well." Taking aim at the dream that online learning might be most useful for students needing help in remedial courses in subjects like English and math, Napolitano said: "I think that's false; those students need the teacher in the classroom working with them."
Online courses might be all right for capitalizing on UC's multi-campus structure by allowing students at one campus to take courses developed at another, she said, but she indicated that there's still got to be human interaction.
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