10:14 Apr 18th, 2012 | 1 note
The ongoing death of newspapers is not about changes in journalism, or the need for them. It is about a business model that has ceased to be relevant in the face of present technology. It used to be a poorly kept secret, but amid a vast array of competing histories, it’s been forgotten like last year’s canceled NBC sitcoms: What made newspapers successful was never the news. Newspapers provided vital services in people’s lives: their connections with their hometown, the notices of local events, the daily topics of conversation, the latest thoughts hovering over Snoopy’s head as he snored atop his doghouse. Many of these services were syndicated, and those that were not - like the classified ads - were intensely well managed. The front page, and the headlines therein, were merely the container. News has always been a loss leader; it’s the thing publishers provide to make the real products they used to sell timely, interesting and competitive. It’s literally the sugar coating.
On the Difference Between Google and Journalism
10:33 Apr 11th, 2012 | 2 notes
Our hunch is that publishers know that DRM doesn’t stop piracy. What it does stop — and what they hope it will stop — is casual sharing: people lending books that they love to their friends. But casual sharing has always been a part of the reading experience, and when we think about why publishers are feeling desperate enough to want to take it away, we start to understand what’s really at stake here.
We’ve all heard about the crucial role that independent bookstores play in supporting young writers and new talent, and we know that supporting small local businesses is good for the long-term health of our economy. But there’s an even more compelling reason that we need indies to exist in the e-book market: The Amazon/Apple near-duopoly on e-book sales is cripplingly destructive for readers, writers, and publishers. Once one of the big “A”s can freely set the price of e-books, they can determine the conditions of the market for everybody. They can charge consumers anything, pay publishers very little (for who will exist to sell their products otherwise?), and leave writers hoping for some small crumb of the pie. Everyone who reads or writes or cares about books has a reason to support the existence of a viable alternative.
Ruth Curry’s persuasive argument on the uselessness - and destructive power - of DRM