There is a piece in Wired about the growing popularity of reading E-Books on the iPhone. At the same time sales for Amazon’s Kindle continue to grow rapidly (even though the device itself is far from perfect).
I love so much about E-Books, from their obvious portability to the potential for hyperlinking everything from definitions to other readers comments. Plus there’s the whole zero-environmental impact as compared to the printing and distribution of an actual paperback.
The biggest problem I have with E-Books is that current DRM-related issues and publishers general terror of the future means that is now almost impossible to read a great E-Book then give it to your friend to read. My bookshelf has long been a source and resource for friends looking for something great to read and it gives me great joy to share my books.
Now, it appears those days are numbered unless the publishers figure out what the music labels were late in learning – sharing increases sales.
Nice bit of reporting over on Wired about the efforts being made by those inside Tibet to get news of the protests, riots and killings through the news blackout imposed by the Chinese:
“Much of the reporting from Lhasa and elsewhere in Tibet comes from bloggers, tourists and activism organizations rather than traditional news outlets, which appear to have been blocked from the region.
Some enterprising bloggers are trying to evade China’s Golden Shield by behaving like spammers — deliberately mis-spelling words that China’s censors have deemed troublesome and placed in its filtering system.
Thus Michael D. Manning, who runs the news blog “The Opposite End of China,” has posted photos of protesting monks at the Labrang Monastery in Xiahe in Tibet and captioned the photos with the word “Labr@ng.”
This is another sign that the internet, far more than any army, has the power to bring change to the world. Information is power and now the information has a better chance than ever to spread across the globe.
Wired is reporting that FindTheLostRing ARG discussed previously is, in fact, sponsored by McDonalds and the Olympics.
It’s interesting that the presence of a major corporate sponsor doesn’t seem to be dampening excitement about the game. We’ll have to see how McD’s works its marketing into the process.
I have been arguing for some time that the Music Industry has been like a canary in the coal mine as far the film/TV industry should be concerned but so far it doesn’t seem like they’ve learned anything at all.
Wired has a sort of open letter to the industry addressing some of these issues:
” To succeed in the digital realm, Hollywood needs to offer total convenience, almost infinite choice, and the freedom to watch any way we want. Instead, we have iTunes, which delivers video you can’t watch on any portable device that wasn’t made by Apple, and Amazon Unbox and Netflix’s Watch Instantly, which feature downloads you can’t watch on any device that was made by Apple.”
This is something covered heavily in “The Pirate’s Dilemma” and elsewhere.
So, as part of their promotional efforts, Wired is offering free copies of their current issue. That should totally get people psyched, right?
Well, check out the recent comments left on the free sign up page:
“Posted by: DonFrodo
Only open for US residents… sigh Sad world when even Wired doesn’t seem to realise the web is larger then the US. Why not put a huge disclaimer next to your promotions: “non U.S. residents please ignore this message: as far as we’re concerned you d…
Posted by: Grottco
Free?!!! I Can’t even get get the magazines that I paid for. Take some responsibility for YOUR subscription service!!! Customer service still exists and still matters in the new economy. Even more so when your potential for meaningful interaction is …
Posted by: SFC
I would just be satisfied if the (paid) subscription service for Europe would work properly, without delays and with a responsive service. It is a hassle to get a subscription overseas – starting from the totally unfriendly website and further intera…
Posted by: bsenentz
I like the article, but anyone who has experience with free should be wary. I’d rather read online than submit my DOB online over unsecure http for no good reason. From the same magazine that writes threat level?
Posted by: MacMike
really dumb design
I just read a great little post on A VC Blog that points to his post written THREE YEARS AGO called In Defense of Free.
In it, Fred Wilson looks at Red Hat (linux), FlickR and Google as examples of how free is succeeding. This was three years ago.
Obviously, these ideas are becoming more mainstream every second. How long before all the big business schools have to go back to the drawing board when it comes to teaching tomorrows leaders how the economy works and what makes a successful business?
Wired’s Chris Anderson’s preview essay of his upcoming book FREE is getting a lot of attention (see BoingBoing) for starters). Considering he is the guy who wrote the extremely influential book The Long Tail it isn’t really that surprising.
Maybe because I am so deeply involved in the world of “new media” I don’t find his essay especially earth-shattering. His main point is that many things which once cost money are now free thanks to the internet, largely due to the fact that processing power, storage, etc, has become nearly free.
Of course, “free” doesn’t always mean without cost. Anderson notes that much of the so-called free content we enjoy online is being paid for by advertisers. We end up paying with our attention and time and focus. What happens when the “cost” of bad advertising outweighs the value of the attached content.
“There is, presumably, a limited supply of reputation and attention in the world at any point in time. These are the new scarcities — and the world of free exists mostly to acquire these valuable assets for the sake of a business model to be identified later. Free shifts the economy from a focus on only that which can be quantified in dollars and cents to a more realistic accounting of all the things we truly value today.”
This is what many brands ought to think about as the begin to explore how to best support all the “free” content out there.