Tuesday, April 08, 2014

MediaWeek (V8, N14): VIvian Maier, Rizzoli Bookstore, Amazon Prime, Local Bookstores, + More

Flipboard version: http://flip.it/rmD2x

Vivian Maier: The Unknown Photographer (Economist)

VIVIAN MAIER'S name deserves to be immortalised in the history of photography alongside the greats of the 20th century like Robert Frank, Helen Levitt and Diane Arbus. Yet the work of this Chicago-based nanny was unknown until the very last years of her life. Indeed it might have languished in obscurity forever were it not for the auction in 2007 of the contents of a storage locker on which she had stopped paying rent.
John Maloof, then a 26-year-old amateur historian, spent $380 on one box of negatives and undeveloped rolls of film. He put it aside for months, but eventually set about scanning the images, and duly uncovered thousands of captivating black-and-white photographs from the 1950s and 1960s: children crying, old men reading newspapers, women peering out from cars.
The building in which the Rizzoli Bookstore is located is being torn down (LBT)
All hope is not lost in the effort to save New York City’s beloved Rizzoli Bookstore and surrounding buildings from demolition, even as the fight between developers and preservationists on Manhattan’s rapidly changing 57th Street is getting dirtier -- literally.
Sources say Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO), which co-owns the three properties at the center of the dispute, deployed contractors to deface the exterior of the buildings in a premeditated effort to derail the landmark-evaluation process. “Preemptive demolition,” as the tactic is known, is not an uncommon strategy for property owners, which have been known to purposely disfigure a building’s distinctive features after catching wind of an effort to designate a property for landmark protection. In this case, the tactic was alleged in detail on the Save Rizzoli blog. The blog’s anonymous author noted that the gold caryatids and ornamentation at 29 West 57th St., a 90-year-old former piano showroom known as Chickering Hall, had been torn off the building’s exterior.
SF Chron has created a literary map of the city:
The interactive map plots literary facts from around the Bay Area onto a Google Map. Readers can find locations from novels, see where authors lived and wrote, as well as read passages from books set in the city. The map also includes a list of bookstores and Literary Journals that are currently active in the city.
Is there a renaissance in the local non-chain book market?  Can they be compared to restaurants? (Salon)
What explains this renaissance? The collapse of Borders in 2011 is one big piece of the puzzle. (Removing a dominant carnivore from the savannah gives all the other animals a little more breathing room.) The end of the recession also contributed to a more nurturing economic environment.
But there’s more to the story. There is increasing evidence that the same digital transformation that has so dramatically reshaped the publishing industry, and driven millions of consumers online, also paradoxically rewards locally rooted authenticity. Our digital tools are steering us toward brick-and-mortar stores that promise a more satisfactory consumer experience than either chain stores or online emporiums can provide.
In a world increasingly influenced by our social media interactions, it’s turning out there may well be enough room for the little guy to survive — and perhaps even thrive.

HBR has a look at Amazon Prime pricing:
Amazon recently hiked the price of its Prime service, which includes two-day shipping, Kindle book loans, and streaming video. Raising Prime’s price is especially risky as it’s a key marketing conduit that draws in and engenders loyalty from customers. Analysts estimate Prime members spend over double compared to the average Amazon patron. With a P/E ratio exceeding 550, Wall Street is expecting Amazon to continue dazzling investors with eye-popping annual revenue increases. As a result, the Seattle-based retailer needs to keep Prime – its key engine for growth – in tune.
Amazon did a solid job of raising the price of Prime from $79 to $99. Given its success, managers of all companies can learn from the tactics it employed:

From twitter:
The Killing’ Creator to Pen Crime Noir Version of Macbeth
News: During Cold War, CIA Used 'Doctor Zhivago' As A Tool To Undermine Soviet Union

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