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Morning Roundup: Newsrooms Need More Women in Tech Roles, Amazon Delivery Drones and more
December 2, 2013 | 9:00 am

Amazon Delivery DronesWhy Newsrooms Need More Women in Technology Roles (Media Shift) The news industry has been calling upon the savviest techies in the world to help make sense of how the explosion of digital technology is impacting the news business. Coders, programmers and data scientists are forging innovative ways of gathering, distributing and paying for news coverage. *** Ten Things I've Learned From Evaluating Self-Published Books for a Year (Writer Unboxed) At Compulsion Reads, we always seek to help educate and inform writers. I believe that my personal experience of reading and evaluating a large amount of self-published books over the last year could lend...

My DRM-Free Year, Month 10: News, News, News
November 1, 2013 | 12:37 pm

DRM-FreeRead all the installments of “My DRM-Free Year” Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov-Dec *** It was a quiet October for me. It was a busy month for me at school (culminating in yesterday's Day of Frenzy, aka Halloween) and while I read a lot, I did not read many books. What happened? 1) I became a news junkie. With my go-to newspaper erecting a paywall last month, I went looking elsewhere for my daily news fix, and as a result added several new sites to my daily rounds....

Do Paywalls Retain Loyal Readers, or Send Them Away?
August 18, 2013 | 12:06 pm

paywallsI wrote earlier this week about the paywall roll-out at The Toronto Star, which has been one of my daily online haunts for a while. Well, it seems the paywall is now fully operational: I just got hit with a pop-up message telling me I had two free articles left before I'll have to start paying for access. I think many newspapers have been trying to paint the paywall launch as not just a money grab but as a mutually beneficial 'Good Thing.' They retain profitably, and I get 'value-added' stuff like multimedia content and whatever else. But is that really...

Sweden’s Meganews Delivers Print-on-Demand Newsstand
August 16, 2013 | 12:23 pm

MeganewsPrint-on-demand facsimiles of major dailies are a familiar sight in international hotel lobbies these days, but now Sweden's Meganews has gone one step further, by introducing a mechanized and Internet-enabled newsstand that can print magazines as well as newspapers on demand. "Use the touchscreen to select a magazine of your choice, pay with your credit card, and within two minutes a high-fidelity issue can be picked up at the end of the newsstand," the Meganews site explains. "The printing course of your magazine can be followed on the monitor." Initial venues for the Meganews newsstand "are in locations lacking publications for sale--where...

Kobo Writing Life Adds New E-Book Creation Tools
July 23, 2013 | 3:06 pm

Kobo Writing LifeDigital Book World is one of several outlets reporting that Kobo had added new e-book creation tools to its Writing Life platform. The report claims more than 17,000 authors have already published with Kobo's program. What they've added is an online WYSIWYG creation tool which simplifies creating and editing books. An intriguing development! More in the press release....

The Guardian’s success in growing digital revenue without paywalls continues apace
July 18, 2013 | 11:09 am

The GuardianThe latest set of annual results from the owner of the UK's The Guardian newspaper show positive trends for online media operations and newspapers as a whole, with figures to substantiate increased digital revenues that have helped offset falling print sales. This is all the more interesting as The Guardian is one of the few major British newspapers that forgoes paywalls, concentrating instead on growing its readership internationally. Reporting in its own newspaper, Guardian News & Media cited an annual loss of £30.9  million ($46.65 million) in the year to the end of March 2013, which had fallen by 30 percent from last...

Reuters Institute Digital News Report confirms power of tablets, payment
June 21, 2013 | 9:56 am

Digital News Report The latest Reuters Institute Digital News Report for 2013, from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, confirms the dominance of digital news, but also of tablets as the core recourse for readers, especially in younger age groups. And it suggests that not only are readers increasingly more prepared to pay for content, but also that tablet readers are even more likely to do this—a comforting sign for writers. The Reuters Institute, "established in autumn 2006, with core funding from the Thomson Reuters Foundation, and part of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford," surveys...

Rob Ford, Crack Cocaine, and Editorial Responsibility in the Days of Instant News
May 20, 2013 | 3:14 pm

Rob FordIn my grandfather's day, if you saw it on the front page of the newspaper, it must be true. My, how times have changed! A bizarre story is gripping my city this week, and nobody knows if it's true or if it isn't. The fact that somebody told it to somebody else is news enough! It's almost too bizarre to even begin explaining. Our mayor, Rob Ford, is, to put it in the kindest way, a character. His dislike for the Toronto Star, a major local paper, is legendary and well-established. Their dislike of him is as established. But when they...

BREAKING: O’Reilly Media Retiring the Tools of Change Conference and TOC Blog
May 2, 2013 | 10:15 pm

O'Reilly MediaEarlier today, O'Reilly Media founder Tim O'Reilly announced in a blog post that after seven years of hosting the Tools of Change for Publishing conference, a digital publishing event attended annually by many of the biggest names and most important members of the industry, the conference is being officially retired. Also folding along with the conference is the popular TOC blog, which, like its namesake series of events, is considered a crucial portion of most every digital publishing professional's media diet. The rationale behind the cancellation of Tools of Change seems largely to be one of financial priority. In the aforementioned blog...

Kobo to Launch New HD E-Reader
April 16, 2013 | 9:17 am

KoboI woke up this morning to the news that Kobo is launching a new HD reader! The 'Aura HD' has the same glow technology as the excellent flagship Kobo Glo, but has a bigger 6.8 inch screen with 1440 x 1080 resolution and 265 dpi, which they claim is the highest on the market. It features the same user interface as the Glo as well, with font customization options aplenty, and access to the Kobo store. I think Kobo's strategy is a smart one. They already have the technology developed (for the Glo screen and user interface), so why not deploy it on...

The Media and the Barbell Problem
March 23, 2013 | 8:55 am

I read a great article today by Matthew Ingram where he explains the current difficulties facing the news media as a 'barbell' problem--entities on either side of the barbell are going to be just fine, he argues. It's the people in the middle who are going to get squeezed! Ingram's theory is this: If you are a top gun, like, say, the New York Times, you'll be fine, because you have both resources to fund new ventures and cash flow to wait it out until you see which of those ventures stick. Similarly, if you are a small-town paper--the other end of the barbell--where "forces...

Apple lawsuit wrap-up for February 2013
March 9, 2013 | 6:24 pm

Apple lawsuitFebruary 2013 had a cornucopia of Apple lawsuits in all parts of the world, from Australia to Texas to a woman in bed. ♦ The Australian government thinks Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe are charging too much for their products. Now they’ve been summoned to an Australian government inquiry and threatened with legal consequences if they don’t show up. Although Apple did testify in private, they refused to do so in public hearings and that wasn’t good enough. ♦ Although I was irritated when the iPad got updated much faster than expected, suing Apple didn’t cross my mind. That’s not the case in Brazil where the Brazilian Institute...