The special news first: Today (November 30, 2010), you can still get 25% off any or all of my books at Lulu. Just enter the code CYBER305 at checkout. It’s Lulu’s discount–I still see the same return, so we’re both happy.
That means that, through the end of today, disContent: The Complete Collection is only $37.50; tomorrow, it’s back to $50. You can also pick up The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008, which will soon go out of print, for $15 (or $7.50 for the PDF), or But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009 for the same $15 paper, $7.50 PDF. For that matter, if you’re so inclined, Open Access and Libraries would be $13.12 today, less than my copy of this 519-page paperback cost me. (That book’s PDF version is already free, and 25% off $0 is still $0.)
For that matter, what better time to acquire paperback versions of Cites & Insights–I’d already discounted them 20% (to $40 each) through ALA Midwinter 2011, and this one-day discount should bring that down to $30, which is a great deal. The 2010 volume is just out; the same price should also apply for the massive 2009 volume (longest ever, a record I hope stands for a while), the 2008 volume; the 2007 volume with its bonus Cites on a Plane non-issue (not available anywhere else), and the 2006 volume. And, you know, my very first (and most successful) self-published book, Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change, is only $18.75 today (or $12 PDF).
Heck, just go to Cites & Insights Books and buy them all. If you happen to be part of the Driver, Cockerton, Sweet, Wilkinson, Wiltfong, Higgins, Edmunds, Joyce, Saxe, Symmons, Gerow, Symons, Vivian, Eva, Rodda, McQuaid, or Spafford family, you might even want to pick up one of the family ancestry books my wife’s published–for less than we paid for our copies!
Ads Around Content: Pushing the Limits
That’s the title for the June 2001 “disContent” column. Here’s the start of the column; you’ll find the rest in the book.
We all know that “free” only goes so far. Somehow, somewhere, someone’s paying for the stories, organization, and infrastructure that make Web sites work. That’s true of any medium, and most of us cope with the tradeoffs fairly well. I expect to see ads on most Web sites that don’t come from government agencies, educational institutions, charitable organizations, companies, or people with strong interests. I expect to see ads in most magazines and newspapers, to watch them on most TV channels, and to hear them on most radio stations.
I remember a comment from some media guru that all media consisted of “enough content to wrap around the advertising,” and thought how sad it was that the commentator had never read a book, listened to a CD, or watched a DVD. At the same time, I understood what he was saying about free media: Those who pay the bills call the tune, while the rest of us look for a tune we find appealing.
Is there a Magic Number?
When is enough too much? At what point does a Web site (or any other medium) change from an ad-supported content site to a pile of ads with a little content thrown in? I know the limits vary with different users. I suspect the limits involve not just percentage but intrusiveness. I might not have written this column if one of my bookmarked sites hadn’t gone over the edge—so far over the edge that I deleted the bookmark.