Thursday, May 18, 2006

eBook Users Survey

from Library Marketing

Here is a link to a downloadable PDF of an eBook Users Survey (PDF) conducted by the International Digital Publishing Forum. The survey delves into 3 areas: Past eBook Experience, eBook Features and Suggested Improvements. The researchers appeared to target eBook users in that they sent invitations to customers of major eBook retail sites, so it's perhaps no surprise that 82% have purchased an eBook in the past month. However, even though many respondents complain about the high prices of eBooks, only 8% borrowed an eBook from a library in the last month. Also, I was a bit surprised to find that a large majority of respondents (79%) prefer to read their eBooks on Personal Digital Devices like Palms. The main improvements suggested in the survey to increase eBook use and satisfaction are lower prices, more selection and interoperability between eBook devices and software.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Future of the internet

From the WSJ
In the past 10 years the Internet has emerged as a global network that enables instant communications and borderless commerce. The popularity of blogs and the roll out of high-speed wireless connections have already begun to reshape the Web, but what will the Internet look like a decade from now?

The Wall Street Journal Online invited Web pioneer Vint Cerf and tech pundit Esther Dyson to discuss what they expect in the next 10 years. Mr. Cerf envisions an interplanetary network, while Ms. Dyson ponders a loss of privacy and an information glut. Their conversation, carried out by email, is at the link.

"I think you'll see a fundamental shift in the balance of power towards individuals. Individuals will declare what kinds of vendors they want sponsoring their content, and then those vendors will have the privilege of appearing, discreetly, around the user's content. There will be much less "advertising" and much more communication to interested customers. Advertisers will have to learn to listen, not just to track and segment customers. So the message to marketers is...

... If you can't sell your product (assuming it's already in the market), fix the product! Don't try to change the situation by advertising."

FeedRinse filters your RSS

From Boing Boing

FeedRinse is a service that filters the RSS feeds you subscribe to, hiding items that match keywords or authors you don't want to see. This is a service that's both so vital and so obvious that it's practically an indictment of RSS feedreaders that they don't all include this already.

Textcasting - the next big thing!

Slate has launched a service they call "textcasting," starting with their "Today's Papers" feature. A "textcast," is a podcast in which the main thing being delivered to your iPod is text rather than audio. You read the text on your iPod's screen - like an "e-Book". From Slate:
Print, meet your cool new friend: the iPod. Starting today, we at Slate are making one of our most popular features available in a brand-new format. We call it a "textcast," a podcast in which the main thing being delivered to your iPod is text rather than audio.

The idea is simple: Subscribe to our new Today's Papers textcast feed just as you would to any other podcast. Every morning, we'll deliver to your iPod a small file containing the full text of that day's summary of the top stories from the nation's best newspapers. You can then read the text right on your iPod's screen. (Note: At the moment, this service works only with iTunes and relatively recent iPods with screens.)

Here's a little more detail on how the textcast works: The text is actually contained in a 15-minute audio file. (It's 15 minutes of silence, which is how we make the file so small.) Play the file as you would any other podcast, and then hit the iPod's center button two or three times until you reach the description field, which contains the full TP text. You can scroll through the text using the iPod's scroll wheel.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Google "Notebook" debuts

With Notebook, you can collect text snippets, images and links while surfing, right within your browser window. This information is accessible from different computers, and you can also make notebooks public. After you signed in to your Google Account, you need to download and install a little application – for Firefox, that’s an extension, and as usual you need to restart the browser to activate it. In Firefox, the first thing you’ll notice uporestart is an “Open Notebook” icon in the bottom right. You can then open it while viewing any web page and paste into it anything from the site you want to save for future use. Pretty slick!

Very good library marketing site debuts

Nancy Dowd with the New Jersey State Library has begun a slick little blog about library marketing. "The 'M' Word" was started, according to Nancy
...because as a marketer for the NJ State Library, I am always coming across interesting articles, new concepts and great ideas that I think anyone trying to market their library might be interested in having a chance to read. Plus I wanted to create a forum where we could all start to share our ideas and thoughts and help each other to find answers to problems we are encountering in journey to tell the public about our libraries.
Great work, Nancy, and we look forward to your posts. Marketing has never been more important to libraries than it is right now!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Over 1,000 Creative Commons licensed discs available

jamendo is a new model for artists to promote, publish, and be paid for their music.

On jamendo, the artists distribute their music under Creative Commons licenses. In a nutshell, they allow you to download, remix and share their music freely. It's a "Some rights reserved" agreement, perfectly suited for the new century.

These new rules make jamendo able to use the new powerful means of digital distribution like Peer-to-Peer networks such as BitTorrent or eMule to legally distribute albums at near-zero cost.

jamendo users can discover and share albums, but also review them or start a discussion on the forums. Albums are democratically rated based on the visitors’ reviews. If they fancy an artist they can support him by making a donation.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

RLG to combine with OCLC

They say on the OCLC PICA site, "Two of the world's largest membership-based information organizations have agreed to come together. The combined organization will offer an integrated product and service line, and will give libraries, archives and museums new leverage in developing services, standards and software that will help them support research and disseminate knowledge online."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Creative Commons legal guide to Podcasting

From Creative Commons:
The purpose of this Guide is to provide you with a general roadmap of some of the legal issues specific to podcasting. EFF has produced a very practical and helpful guide for issues related to blogging generally. This Guide is not intended to duplicate efforts by EFF, and in many cases refers you to that guide for where crossover issues are addressed. Our goal is to complement EFF's Bloggers FAQ and address some of the standalone issues that are of primary relevance to podcasters, as opposed to bloggers.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"Sphere" blog search engine launches

sphereWith over 30 million blogs currently on line and thousands more popping up each week, how do you find blogs relevant to your interest? Sphere's advanced search algorithm helps you discover high-quality, relevant, and timely blog posts that match what you're looking for.