Archive for the ‘Passé’ Category

It’s gone

Friday, April 1st, 2011

As promised, none of you will have to suffer through more attempts to publicize and sell my “Freemium” test and, so far, only hardcover Cites & Insights Book.

disContent: The Complete Collection has been retired.

To those who purchased the book: My thanks–and you now have a true collector’s item, one of the five existing copies of this book. (Four purchased, and I have one.)

To those who claim that Andersonomics can work for any but a few superstars and motivational speakers: A special salute, one I never give in public.

The four purchasers have what I believe to be a great collection, with updates for nearly every one of the essays. It’s possible that a handful of those essays, with updates, will appear in Cites & Insights, but at this point, I don’t think that will be more than half a dozen to, at most, a dozen of the 73 columns.

Now to go remove the dead link & cover image from the C&I site and my home page…

Added at 10:20 a.m. PDT:
For those who have ignored every previous post and article in Cites & Insights regarding the special character of disContent: The Complete Collection

It was announced as a special signed limited edition, limited both in the maximum number of copies sold and in the sales window.

That limit was restated oh, maybe a dozen times? It was stated in Cites & Insights as well as here.



disContent: One more week (and thanks!)

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Just a quick note:

  • The extremely limited signed hardcover edition of disContent: The Complete Collection will continue to be on sale through March 31, 2011 (barring some astonishing circumstance in which 95 more copies sell before then!). There will not be a paperback edition, a partial collection or the appearance of more than a dozen or so of the 70-odd columns in C&I: It will simply vanish. Right now, the edition size looks to be “10 or fewer”–that’s a truly limited edition!
  • Thanks to the person or persons or library that just (sometime today) purchased a copy of disContent, a copy of But Still They Blog and, possibly for the first time other than my own copy, a print copy of Open Access and Libraries!
  • Still wondering whether there’s any market at all–even two copies each–for hardback/casebound versions of the annual Cites & Insights compilations, probably priced at $50 each.

disContent: Dear AT&T Broadband…

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Have you ordered your copy of disContent: The Complete Collection yet?

It’s a unique publication, signed on the title page, perhaps the only hardbound book I’ll ever self-publish, and limited to 100 copies (or four months, whichever comes first).

It’s also a serious attempt at “freemium”–the idea that some of you care enough about my writing to pay something for a unique publication, enough so that I’ll be encouraged to keep doing most of my writing/publishing for free.

As another tease, here are the first few paragraphs of the July 2001 column. For the whole column and an updated postscript (the postscripts for at least half of the columns will never appear except in this limited-edition hardbound), buy the book.

Dear AT&T Broadband,

I’m a little confused. I hope I have the name right this month. ‘Dear striped blue deathstar’ seems too informal (and may infringe on a high school classmate’s intellectual property—sorry, George). “AT&T” I understand; “Broadband” I’m not so sure about. But never mind. I’m one of your customers and, I suspect, a hot prospect to get where you and other convergence operators need to be—and I just don’t see it.

The Goal?

I’m no businessman, but I read the business section. Don’t we all? As I understand it, you and your primary competitors are investing tens of billions in infrastructure and content with the expectation that you’ll get it back (and more) in monthly fees. I’ve seen a target number floating around $150 to $170 per month for a middle-class household, for a full range of “broadband” services and content.

Maybe your goals are more modest. Would $120 per month be enough? I know you’re not the only ones in the game; the frequency with which they tear up El Camino Real to lay new fiber demonstrates that.

The Quandary

Here’s my question: How do we get there from here? To put it another way, what combination of services and content will convince a moderately skeptical, college-educated, literate householder to pay you $150 to $170 per month?

Crowdsource request: What size figures?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

UPDATE: The decision’s been made. The two links in the post are now dead. The actual figures are here, in full-page form.

If you’re somebody who might remotely consider buying The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010, I have a question for you–and answers don’t in any way obligate you to buy the book when it comes out.


As usual, the book will be a 6×9″ trade paperback, with an actual text block about 4.3″ wide and 7.1″ tall (actually 26×43 picas, I think).

There are 34 figures–graphs–in the book (and oodles of tables), with anywhere from 600 to more than 4,000 data points.

In most cases–25 of the 34–I feel as though the width restriction results in graphs that could be more readable if they were larger.

I’d already decided to provide a separate PDF, with the URL provided in the book, consisting of printable American letter size (8.5×11″) pages with larger versions of the 34 figures.

The question

Should that PDF be 17 pages in portrait mode, with two figures per page, or 34 pages in landscape mode, with one figure per page?

I chose seven of the graphs that seemed exemplary of those that could gain from larger sizes (two scatterplot, four line graphs, three of them with four lines each, one with a single line) and printed them out in both forms.

And, frankly, I’m not sure whether it’s worth the extra 8 sheets of paper (assuming duplex printing) to scale them to one figure per page–that is, whether I should produce a 17-page (9-sheet) PDF or a 34-page (17-sheet) PDF.

That’s the question. To inform your decision,

UPDATE: The decision’s been made. The two links in the post are now dead. The actual figures are here, in full-page form.

Opinions that reach me by Monday, December 6 will be most useful. I won’t generate the separate PDF until the book is ready for publication, and that won’t be until at least December 6–but might not be long after that.

Either email your preference or add a comment to this post. I’m assuming you’ll print out at least one or two pages to inform your decision, although some of you may be able to decide based only on on-screen examination of the PDFs. I will almost certainly follow the majority advice.


disContent: One more 25%-off day and more

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

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.

Don’t forget the 25%-off code, good today only: CYBER305.
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

disContent: I Will Buy No Content Before It’s Time

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Before you write a comment informing me that I’ve made one of the most boneheaded grammatical errors…I haven’t. I know exactly when you do and don’t use an apostrophe between “it” and “s” and used it quite precisely in this case.

This case? The May 2001 “disContent” column, one of the 73 you’ll find in disContent: The Complete Collection. Did I mention that this limited edition beautiful 6×9 hardbound (casebound) book is available now?

Here’s the beginning of that column:

Sometimes an item in the press can push you over the edge. The following item in the December 26, 2000 [Inside] (the print magazine) served as the trigger for this month’s hunk of discontent: “Sony markets content. Sony markets hardware that plays Sony content. Now Sony provides a virtual space where the devoted can share their passion for All Things Sony…” There’s more, but the first two sentences told me that it’s time. That is, it’s time to say that only middlemen buy content.

Sony manufactures and markets motion pictures and sound recordings. Sony also manufactures and markets devices to play back sound recordings, television programs, and motion pictures converted to analog or digital video form—and another range of devices to create and manipulate video and sound recordings, as well as forms of digital data. In general, Sony does not make hardware that favors Sony sound and video over other suppliers (MiniDisc and SACD may be temporary exceptions).

Sony does not market content. I have never seen a Sony ad that urges me to “Go buy some Sony content.” But then, I’ve never gone into Tower and said, “I want $100 worth of content.” Neither, I would suggest, has anybody else.

To read the rest of the column, beginning with the subhead “There: Only Words.”…
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

disContent: Metametametamedia

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Have you ordered your copy of disContent: The Complete Collection yet? I could take this either of two ways:

  1. It would make a great Christmas present for the econtent mavens in your life.
  2. Depending on how you think of my writing, you’d get all the turkeys from the set of columns, which won’t be available anywhere else…just a week or two after Thanksgiving.

Of course, the real reasons are that purchases will help me keep writing & researching…and that it’s a great hardbound book, quite possibly the last hardbound book I’ll ever publish

Here’s the first couple of paragraphs of another early column. For the whole thing, you need to buy the book–and I would note that, should Iris actually prepare that (German) bibliography of bibliography of bibliographies, it would be a perfect item for Cubed (or, rather, Cubed‘s offspring, Metametameta…). And a MARC record (or RDA resource or whatever) on the metametabibliography would be an incredibly rare meta-to-the-fourth-power.

Cubed: Media about Media about Media

A Note on the Following:

Dated March 10, 2001—and apparently a draft version—a press release and attachment were found by an acquaintance in mid-May 2001, discarded somewhere in Silicon Valley. I’ve omitted the contact names and Web addresses because none of them seem to work.

Well, no, that’s a lie. Five paragraphs of this column are factual (right after “Media about Media”). Otherwise, think of it as a bad dream after reading a little too much content about content…

Coming soon to a newsstand, Web site, or cable channel near you: Cubed—media about media about media. Such media are long overdue, given the explosion of media about media. (a subsidiary of Triple Whammy Media) is building the true media of the future—media that take the next step in using distance to save time.

What can I say? Buy the book!
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

disContent: The book looks great!

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

I received my own copy of disContent: The Complete Collection yesterday (casebound books from Lulu take longer to produce than paperbacks).

It looks great! It’s a little unusual for a casebound 6×9 book, since it has a full wraparound color photo cover (even wrapping around to the insides just a little bit). I’m delighted with the cover, the quality of the print and the seeming quality of the binding itself.

While I get less than half the purchase price when you buy one of the remaining 98 copies, I’m counting the entire purchase price toward my informal “fund to keep on doing C&I and blog research” tally.

I think you’ll find the book not only a good product but a good read–and no essay’s very long, so it’s suitable for people with contemporary attention spans.

This issue of Cites & Insights includes the very last essay in the book. Here’s just the first paragraph of the very first essay in the book:

Have you been quoted out of context? It’s an infuriating aspect of writing, speaking, or sending e-mail—and it’s more infuriating when you’re quoted correctly. Yes, you wrote that string of words; no, you didn’t mean what’s implied in the new context in which your words appear.

For the rest of that, and one of the longer postscripts? You’ll have to buy the book.

disContent: The Complete Collection – Limited Edition

Monday, November 1st, 2010

disContent: The Complete Collection

A limited edition collection of disContent columns

Available immediately–but only for four months or 100 copies, whichever comes first: disContent: The Complete Collection. It’s 314 pages long, hardcover (case-bound 6×9), signed (electronically) on the title page–and costs $50.

It’s a “freemium” experiment–something that carries a premium price but offers something you can’t find elsewhere. To wit, all the columns I wrote in EContent Magazine from 2001 through 2009, offering an amateur’s view of econtent, context, media, borgs and more–73 columns in all, each with a postscript bringing it up to date or otherwise commenting on it, for a total of roughly 88,000 words.

I regard some of these columns as absolutely first rate and most of them are as relevant today as they were when I wrote them. On the other hand, a few represent bad calls on my part or are otherwise mildly embarrassing at a remove–but they’re all here. For a little while: Four months or 100 copies, whichever comes first. (OK, technically, if there’s a flood of orders, the “100 copy” limit could be exceeded slightly, as I’ll take the book off sale the day after that target is reached…if it ever is. The four-month limit is firm: The book will go out of print on March 1, 2011, regardless of sales.)

Why You Should Want It

It’s complete. It includes columns I might just as well forget. Most of you probably haven’t read these columns, since you’re probably not EContent subscribers–and it’s some of my best writing.

It helps support my ongoing research and writing. Not in any huge fiscal manner (if all 100 copies are sold, I’d wind up with around $2,400, not exactly a fortune), but in terms of interest and support.


I don’t much care for the term or the Andersonomics “econtent must be free” attitude behind it, but I’m always welcome to possibilities.

A few of these columns appeared in the early years of Cites & Insights. One–the last one, actually–appears in the December 2010 issue, at the end of the major essay in that issue. A few more will appear in future issues…but certainly not all.

Depending on the level of interest, it’s possible that  I’ll strip this collection down to the 37 “best” columns, which would be just about half the length of this collection, and publish that as a regular trade paperback. That won’t happen before April 2011, and may not happen at all.

What’s in this collection? Here are some of the column titles:

Keeping the Faith: Playing Fair with your Visitors
Survey Says…Or Does It? [Fun with Statistics]
Who Do You Trust?
Contemplation and Content
The Coming of the Borgs
This is Going On Your Permanent Record
Rich Media is Hard
Shortcut Literacy
The Renascence of the Writer
Ghosts in the Social Networking Machines
Security, Naïveté, and the Limits of Pseudonymity
Long Live the Audience!
Will You Be My Friend?
The 24×7 Ubiquitous Connectivity Blues
Welcome to the Neighborhood
Can You Read Me?
Not Me, Inc.
The Top 10 Reasons You See So Many Lists
Authenticity and Sincerity
Is Dead Isn’t Dead—but Maybe it Should Be

It’s worth the $50. Go buy it. Do be aware that casebound books take an extra week or so to produce (no, I don’t have my own copy yet…) This one isn’t available as an ebook, although the selective collection (if it appears) will be.

Open Access Week

Monday, October 18th, 2010

This is Open Access Week. That term should yield dozens, more likely hundreds, of blog posts and other items, some of them from people whose thoughts I value quite a bit.

I don’t have much to say at this point. That isn’t because I don’t care.

I used to write about OA quite a bit (and have collected the essays from Cites & Insights into a book you can download for free or buy for essentially the cost of printing, if you’re so inclined–but it’s just a collection, with no new material and no index).

I gave up on OA in C&I in late 2009, for reasons that may or may not be reasonably explained in a full-article essay on Library Access to Scholarship. Basically, I was tired of coping with the extremists on both sides and felt that others, much more knowledgeable, were doing a much better job of covering the field. I felt that I wasn’t really adding much value.

My chance to add value came this Fall–and it should emerge early in 2011 (I’ll post the date as soon as I know it): A Special Report from ALA Editions, currently entitled Open Access: What You Need to Know Now. The “Special Report” moniker means it’s brief (30,000 words), will be a slender 8.5×11 monograph (I’m guessing 80 pages) and was written and is being published on a fast schedule.

I believe it will be a useful summary for library people and, for that matter, others. It covers a lot of ground in a few pages and ends with a whole bunch of good places to go for more information.

That’s about it for my current involvement. For current info and arguments, others do it better…just do that phrase search and see what comes up, including posts from Dorothea Salo, John Dupuis and other library folks.