The thing we’re facing now is that, you know, the State Department is suddenly really cozy with Twitter because they are like, “Oh wow, we were trying to get this done with AK-47s and you guys got it done with Tweets. Can we be friends?” But I maintain that it has to be a neutral technology because there are different forms of democracy. You don’t want your technology, you don’t want Twitter, to look like it’s simply a tool for spreading U.S. democracy around the world. You want it to help for good, but you don’t want it to look like you’re in the pocket of the U.S. government. So we try to speak out and say that they have no access to our decision-making.
Archive for June, 2011
Now, with the widgets, publishers will have the ability to embed content that it on another page of their site, giving StumbleUpon users something else to click on locally, rather than nearly being encouraged to leave. According to a StumbleUpon representative:
The widget is a way for us to offer people a better way to see curated content on a specific Web site that other users have surfaced
For my latest article on The Next Web, I interviewed Ryan Ozimek, who oversees Joomla, about how the open source CMS amassed 23 million users:
Ozimek, president of the nonprofit that oversees Joomla, the product in question, told me that nonprofits often have less incentive to publicize such milestones. “Joomla isn’t a corporate enterprise,” he explained. “Joomla is made by developers around the world freely giving their time to something they’re passionate about and is managed and run by a leadership team and a nonprofit organization that doesn’t really have any financial stake in the game.
“They’re just doing it because they love it and they want to volunteer for it. So our efforts for marketing are going to be quite different from those venture-backed companies that have people that have invested millions of dollars who want to double or triple that investment. The investment in the Joomla world is of people’s time and passion. Not necessarily their money.”
Let me be clear… as I’ve said in previous posts, all these statistical reports are meant to inform our journalism, NOT to rule it. The new content engine we’re building calls for each full-time staffer and each contributor (all topic-specific experts) to be responsible for attracting and building an audience of repeat visitors — that is, loyal readers — around their brand name and their knowledge. Pandering for traffic is not brand building. Winning the respect of your audience is.
To achieve that, journalists and other experienced content creators need to apply their professionalism to the new ethos of digital publishing. They need to build a bridge from traditional media values to all those traffic numbers.
What seems to be happening is that Amazon’s platform is being overwhelmed by spammers who “scrape” content from websites or, in some cases, actually lift entire texts, and republish them as ebooks. And, in a neat twist, each of these ersatz “books” can be marketed under several different titles as coming from different authors. Thus a book on health insurance is available as three separate publications, priced at £2.15, £2.18 and £4.35. And an ingenious entrepreneur is marketing a training course for Kindle “authors”. “You just hand the video course to your spouse, your assistant, your brother… heck – even hand it to your 10-year-old kid! They’ll be posting 10 or even 20 new Kindle books to your account EVERY DAY!”
The books will be available exclusively through the Pottermore site, meaning that Rowling is self-e-publishing the novels. While self-publishing is, of course, nothing new, digital publishing and digital readership has helped self-publishing become more popular and, for authors, more lucrative. As we reported earlier this week, Amazon recently announced that self-published author John Locke had joined its “Kindle Million Club” after selling over one million copies of his e-books on the Kindle platform.
But Rowling’s decision here isn’t just another mark of legitimacy for self-publishing, nor is it simply yet another blow to the traditional publishing industry – although no doubt, both of those are true. Rowling’s announcement has several other ramifications here for the publishing industry.
So what is Digital Services? Public Interactive, a NPR operation housed in Boston, became NPR Digital Services about six months ago, when Bob Kempf, an alum of Boston Globe’s Boston.com, Gatehouse, and Ottoway Community digital operations. It is now staffed by 21 people. If the new initiative is fully funded, it will grow to 42 staffers and serve as the nerve center for public radio’s digital future.
It’s intended to be a full-service center, rooted in technology and branching out to wider, collective, and collaborative, deal-making. It starts with robust content management system, built on Drupal 7, and expands from there. “We’ll include research, analytics, training, product marketing, design, API development, business development, and network operations,” NPR digital head (and former USA Today editor-in-chief) Kinsey Wilson says. “It’s a complex choreography of talents.”