Books as Treasures Waiting to be Discovered

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The experience of Cecilia Tan, Founder/Publisher, Circlet Press via Digital Book World:

I gave a talk as part of a panel in the Bookbuilders of Boston / Emerson College “Gutenberg to Google” series of presentations on the ebook r/evolution. I promised I’d put it online later for those who missed it, and here it is — my take on “discoverability” and how this key principle is behind three of the hot button issues facing publishers going digital, namely:

1) the transition from physical retail marketplace to the online marketplace
2) the importance of social media and author involvement
3) Piracy! Yarrr!

I didn’t get into ebooks and place myself on the cutting edge of new book technology because I thought ebooks were really cool and I wanted to be where the action was. No, I was essentially FORCED to become an expert on ebooks or my company was dead in the water. I founded Circlet Press in 1992, way back before a little thing we refer to now as “The Returns Crisis.”

There’s more…

Net Neutrality Moves to Endangered List

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Via Reporters Without Borders:

Reporters Without Borders is asking Congress to take a stand in favor of Net neutrality after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority under existing legal framework to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or slowing specific websites.

“This is a major stepback”, the organization said “The ruling is contradictory to the government’s commitment to Net neutrality and equal access to the Internet for all American citizens. It allows Internet service providers to control Internet traffic, rerouting people to sites and search engines they own. This is not only a commercial decision, it also has enormous consequences for the free flow of information. The neutrality principle has made the Internet an open, creative and free space. It is already being put under threat by the world’s authoritarian states, led by China and Iran. It would be disastrous if the United States was to go against this key principle.”

There’s more…

Back From the Dead, Humming a Tune

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For most of its 10 years, it has been on the verge of death, struggling to find investors and battling record labels over royalties. Had Pandora died, it would have joined myriad music start-ups in the tech company graveyard, like SpiralFrog and the original Napster. Instead, with a successful iPhone app fueling interest, Pandora is attracting attention from investment bankers who think it could go public, the pinnacle of success for a start-up.

Pandora’s 48 million users tune in an average 11.6 hours a month. That could increase as Pandora strikes deals with the makers of cars, televisions and stereos that could one day, Pandora hopes, make it as ubiquitous as AM/FM radio.

“We were in a pretty deep dark hole for a long time,” said Mr. Westergren, who is now the company’s chief strategy officer.. “But now it’s a pretty out-of-body experience.”

There’s more…

“Calvin and Hobbes, Eighth Wonder of the World.”

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Calvin and Hobbes 02042010

The man behind my — and a heck of a lot of other people’s — favorite cartoon of all times has spoken. Bill Watterson has granted an email interview to John Campanelli of The Plain Dealer, the first since 1989. Here’s a sample question and answer:

Because your work touched so many people, fans feel a connection to you, like they know you. They want more of your work, more Calvin, another strip, anything. It really is a sort of rock star/fan relationship. Because of your aversion to attention, how do you deal with that even today? And how do you deal with knowing that it’s going to follow you for the rest of your days?

Ah, the life of a newspaper cartoonist — how I miss the groupies, drugs and trashed hotel rooms!

But since my “rock star” days, the public attention has faded a lot. In Pop Culture Time, the 1990s were eons ago. There are occasional flare-ups of weirdness, but mostly I just go about my quiet life and do my best to ignore the rest. I’m proud of the strip, enormously grateful for its success, and truly flattered that people still read it, but I wrote “Calvin and Hobbes” in my 30s, and I’m many miles from there.

An artwork can stay frozen in time, but I stumble through the years like everyone else. I think the deeper fans understand that, and are willing to give me some room to go on with my life.

There’s more…

(H/t Andrew Sullivan)

I Can Be Demanding

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of more Question Time:

We live in a world that increasingly demands more dialogue than monologue. President Obama’s January 29th question-and-answer session with Republican leaders gave the public a remarkable window into the state of our union and governing process. It was riveting and educational. The exchanges were substantive, civil and candid. And in a rare break from our modern politics, sharp differences between elected leaders were on full public display without rancor or ridicule.

I’ve just signed The Demand Question Time! Petition, which states:

In an age when political and policy discussions are often crammed into soundbites, President Obama and the House Republicans advanced transparency and honest debate with their unprecedented live, televised question-and-answer session on January 29. Since then, people of all political persuasions have been talking about the value of what’s being called “Question Time.” It’s time to start a new American political tradition. We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the leaders of the Republican Party in Congress to hold regular, frequent, and public Question Time sessions between the President and the opposition party.
You can sign on too. Here.

YouTube, Cubiyanqui?

Cubiyanqui's YouTube channel

Yes. I’ve set up a Cubiyanqui YouTube channel linked to the blog. I’m still learning about all of the possibilities of “broadcasting myself” but I have pretty ambitious plans for this new outlet.

The only videos currently up are the ones from the Monday Blues? series that we run on Monday mornings. It’s a great collection of music meant to get you out of a funk, whenever you’re in one of those.

Stop by and let me know what you think. Any suggestions to improve the site are most welcomed.

I Can’t Believe Glenn Beck Said That!

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on his radio show today. Via ThinkProgress:

On his radio show today, Fox News host Glenn Beck praised the victory of Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-MA), complaining that the media called the race too early because he wanted to better “savor” the moment. But Beck quickly pivoted to attacking Brown for an awkward joke he made during his acceptance speech last night. After introducing his daughters to the crowd, Brown said “just in case anybody throughout the country” was wondering, “yes, they’re both available.” Beck was outraged by Brown’s comments, implying that the new Republican senator may be a sexual predator capable of killing young women:

I want a chastity belt on this man, I want his every move watched in Washington. I don’t trust this guy. No, I’m just telling you. … This one could end with a dead intern. This one could end with a dead intern.

I can see a regular “I Can’t Believe…” feature: Palin one day, Beck the next. I’m sure we’ll never run out of material.

Some days we may even get to do a double feature.