AdAge: Newspaper Culture Could Have Survived Mistakes If Technology Hadn’t Changed

Advertising Age’s David Klein says the newspaper isn’t going away, but its future isn’t exactly the same, either.

Of course newspapers will continue to advance, improve, innovate and grow. But nothing in the foreseeable future (other than the internet being dismantled) is going to enable papers to return to their old standard of living.


Only Just Begun

My wife and I like to joke that our solution to every problem we encounter is to buy a book about it. It’s not entirely true. As a tech, my first instinct is almost always to Google it. Nevertheless, today I am ordering a copy of Write Great Fiction: Revising and Self-editing, because I am now close enough to finishing the first draft of my novel that I feel I require it.

The first draft of a novel is called that for a reason: it is the first time you sit down and write out the story, all the way through to completion. By far, though, it is not the end of the process. I think that failing to recognize that writing the first draft is not the end of the authoring process may be one of the biggest pitfalls that those who self-publish encounter.

One problem with self-publishing and print-on-demand is often cited to be poor quality of work, whether in design or authorship. That is not to say that every self-published work is low quality. There are most certainly many high quality self-published works (and I hope to count my novel among them). The self-publishing industry as a whole, however, does currently suffer from a reputation for lack of quality. I am determined to turn out only quality products. To that end, I am researching every possible aspect of the process of writing my novel.

My work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and on the web for years now. Although I have written columns, short stories, poetry, and other forms successfully, this is my first attempt at the long form of the novel. I’m looking forward to seeing it through.

Is Google Books Settlement ‘Legislating from the Bench?’

The Open Book Alliance kept a close eye on yesterday’s Google Books Settlement hearing. Click Read more for some of their thoughts:

From our notes, Rep. Johnson criticized the settlement as being a classic case of legislating from the bench, believes that the settlement will have a tough time withstanding a separation of powers review, and expressed concerns with the settlement’s antitrust implications. Fundamentally, Rep. Johnson commented that the scope of the settlement is most troubling, with a private settlement erecting Google as a gatekeeper.  He also cited the lack of consumer protections outlined by some witnesses as an area of concern.

It was a fitting end to what shaped up to be an informative hearing with knowledgeable witnesses on a subject that everyone – Congress, consumers, authors – needs to learn more about.

Ten Years Ago Today, Internet and Media Changed

Wired reports on another Sept. 11 anniversary date, which is Sept. 11, 1998, the day that Congress released the infamous Starr Report detailing the relationship between President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Click Read more for details.

For the first time, if you didn’t have the net, you were missing history — in this case, the salacious details of the 42nd president’s sexual escapades with 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky. A lot people missed it. When Congress released the 445-page Starr report, the word blogosphere had yet to be coined and Twitter was still a sound made by birds.

While presenting monster technical difficulties for government, web surfers and the media, the report’s online release shed light on what the mainstream media would never publish: the details of Clinton’s sexual escapades in the White House that led to the first perjury and obstruction charges against a sitting U.S. president since the 19th century.

U.S. Copyright Office Doesn’t Support Google Books Settlement

The United States Copyright Office is weighing in on the Google Books/Authors Guild settlement controversy. From Yahoo! News and Reuters:

Google Inc’s plan to digitize millions of books as part of a class action settlement wrongly creates a virtually compulsory license for books, the U.S. register of copyrights said on Thursday.


Google Seeks to Help Newspapers Get Online Payment for Content

"’Open’ need not mean free," Google execs say. From Neiman Journalism Lab (tipped by Searchviz):

Google is developing a micropayment platform that will be “available to both Google and non-Google properties within the next year,” according to a document the company submitted to the Newspaper Association of America. The system, an extension of Google Checkout, would be a new and unexpected option for the news industry as it considers how to charge for content online.

 The news comes on the heels of a hearing over Google’s Books settlement with the Authors Guild. Some fear that the settlement will give Google monopoly control over the distribution and sale of digital books.

Google Stands By Books Settlement on Eve of Hearing

The Google legal team believes that the Internet giant’s controversial digitizing of millions of books and its legal settlement with the Authors Guild will pave the way for others to enter the digital book business, according to an article at Yahoo! News. A hearing on the Google Books settlement is scheduled for today.