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Morning Links: No Google Tablet in 2015. Twitter to Acquire Flipboard?
May 27, 2015 | 9:00 am

Google tabletGoogle to launch two Nexus phones but no tablet this 2015 (Android Community) We've been saying that Google might release two new Nexus phones simultaneously but we're silent about the next Nexus tablet. Truth is, we haven't heard any information yet and looks like we know the reason why: there will be no Nexus tablet this year. *** Twitter Has Held Talks to Acquire Flipboard (re/code) Twitter has been engaged in an ongoing series of talks to acquire Flipboard, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, in an all-stock deal that would value the company at over $1 billion. *** Everything Google is rumored...

Morning Links: Twitter for writers, Author Earnings misleading?
May 15, 2015 | 9:00 am

author earningsUsing Twitter to Gain Exposure as a Writer (Writers Helping Writers) Fortunately for us all, there are a multitude of opportunities to get that needed exposure today; all you need to do is sign online for many of them to open up to you. One area alone with many chances to take advantage of is the fast-moving social media platform of Twitter. *** Why the ‘Author Earnings Report’ is Misleading (OscarBernie.com) So, first I’ll do a quick roundabout of the problems with the May’s report. Then I’ll give my own analysis of the (limited) data. And I’ll finish with a few suggestions...

J.K. Rowling Twitter abuse shows the dark side of Scottish nationalism
May 11, 2015 | 6:25 pm

jk rowling stop writingAs a Scot, I'm immensely proud of the achievement of the Scottish National Party in last Thursday's UK elections, and the new spirit abroad in Scotland. But I'm almost equally disgusted by and ashamed of its dark side, as revealed in the Twitter abuse heaped on J.K. Rowling, a very well-known unionist, post the election result. That's one of the few things that could tarnish the victory for me. I won't dignify the tweeters themselves by repeating their slurs, but anyone who wants a representative sample can just search Twitter under @jk_rowling, or check some out here. Suffice it to say that the...

Morning Links: Kindle Paperwhite banned in Russia. Twitter retires Discover tab
April 9, 2015 | 9:00 am

kindle paperwhiteKindle Paperwhite Now Banned in Russia (Ink, Bits & Pixels) He was reportedly told by DHL that the Paperwhite had been rejected by Russian customs agents because it used encryption DRM. *** Chapters Bookstores Now Require ID to Redeem Loyalty Points (GoodeReader) Apparently Chapters has been seeing an influx of unscrupulous people who use stolen loyalty cards in order to receive free books. *** Twitter Retires Discover Tab in Lieu of More Detailed Trends (Re/Code) Twitter has retired its Discover tab, the section within the Twitter app that showed users what topics were trending or most popular within their network. *** The Copywriter's Daily Bag (Lifehacker) Copywriter and Everyday...

Blurred lines: Social media and news media feeding into each other
November 19, 2014 | 7:35 pm

On GigaOm, Matthew Ingram expresses fascination with the way that the news media and social media have collided and blurred the lines between each other, in the context of the recent Uber scandal. We’re increasingly seeing major news stories break and grow in social and new media—Twitter, Facebook, blogs—with the traditional media being relatively slow to catch on. Rather than issue press releases, public figures and companies are issuing quick responses via Twitter or Facebook. So is this a good thing or a bad thing? That depends a lot on your perspective. Obviously if you’re...

Twitter’s potential changes could affect author promotion
September 6, 2014 | 2:32 pm

twitterSo Twitter wants to change things. According to multiple reports (you can find here, here, and here), Twitter is more than considering changing the way users see their feeds. Exactly how is not entirely clear yet as many have looked at smaller changes such as bringing back out tweets from users you already follow or changing the  algorithm completely by curating content that they think you want to read. That sure sounds like Facebook – and one of the biggest reasons why I use Twitter way more than I use the other guys. So, hopefully, it won't go that way. But this website...

Morning Links: Amazon gambles on kids. What? Twitter might filter our feeds?
September 5, 2014 | 9:00 am

twitterAmazon Gambles on the Kids (Digital Book World) Amazon’s announcement of their Kindle Kids’ publishing software platform probably caught very few in the industry off-guard. It’s been clear that Amazon’s ambition is to become both the publisher and the retailer, which irrespective of what the industry feels lines up perfectly with Amazon’s stated goal of delivering better value to their customers. *** Authors United Preparing New Amazon Initiative (PW) It’s been almost a month since Authors United, a group of more than 900 authors concerned about Amazon putting writers in the middle of its dispute with Hachette, published a full-page ad in the New...

JK Rowling Creatively Responds to Twitter Fan’s Question
June 24, 2014 | 9:27 am

jk rowling draco malfoy imageVia GalleyCat came this little smile of the day---JK Rowling's Twitter response to a fan who wondered what the series would look like if told from the villain Draco Malfoy's point of view. Rowling responds with a full slate of titles, including 'Draco Malfoy and the Rejected Handshake' and 'Draco Malfoy and the Year His Father Would Hear About.' It's funny, but it's also an object lesson in what makes the internet age so awesome sometimes. I'm not exactly withered crone age just yet, but I do remember a childhood, pre-internet, where books were pretty much a  thing you read at...

I tried to read through Tim Parks’s article on attention deficit and literature, but …
June 16, 2014 | 10:25 am

yawning-puppy-275... my attention wandered when I realized how sententious, hidebound, and just plain unconvincing his argument was. So I went on Facebook instead. And one I'd heard before. Parks's "Reading: The Struggle" in his regular New York Review of Books blog complains of "the state of constant distraction we live in and how that affects the very special energies required for tackling a substantial work of fiction" in tones very familiar from here, here, here, here, and here. (Wow, some of them are over five years old - amazing people had the attention spans to keep coming back to this tired...

HarperCollins imprint tries to go all Tweety and communal – with someone else’s hashtag?
June 2, 2014 | 11:23 am

Hard on the heels of Penguin Random House front organization myindependentbookshop.co.uk and its attempt to convince readers that it's a brave little independent champion of the little people, comes another bid by a Big Five publisher to dress down and get all folksy and homely and neighborly. This time, as reported in The Bookseller, it's HarperCollins imprint Borough Press, which according to the report, is seeking to run a campaign in June encouraging readers to share on Twitter or Instagram a picture of a book they like - working from a list drawn up by Borough - under the hashtag...

The ideal literary form for the Twitter attention span: The aphorism
June 2, 2014 | 9:26 am

Picking up from my earlier comments on maxims and aphorisms as the ideal literary vehicles for the Twitter generation, here's a more extended discussion of the aphorism, its virtues and value. Because it's worth recalling in these days of hand-wringing over diminished attention spans that brevity used to be the soul of wit (as Polonius said while proving the exact opposite), and that concentration and condensation were hailed as the distinguishing marks of a distinguished mind. "Whatever happened to the aphorism?" asks Aaron Balick in his blog post on aphorisms and Twitter. "I was beginning to think it was a lost...

Top tips on Tweets with the Top Ten Twitter writers
May 28, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Follow TeleRead on Twitter by clicking hereWith all the Jonathan Franzen-style bleating about the grind of promoting yourself through Twitter and other social media, it's worth highlighting an instance when someone sums up what actually works for Tweeting writers. After all, if you're going to be “absolutely coerced into this constant self-promotion,” at least make sure that you're doing it right, yeah? In "10 authors who are brilliant at Twitter," The Guardian Books Blog groups together its pick of the masters (and mistresses) of the new medium. Joyce Carol Oates is one author who need make no apology for Tweeting as well as writing. You could reasonably...

Can we trust that selfie?
April 4, 2014 | 2:21 pm

What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie, @BarackObama pic.twitter.com/y5Ww74sEID — David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014 Twice in the last month, two popular selfies were torpedoed across social media. First, it was Ellen DeGeneres’ picture at the Oscars and, most recently, Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz took a selfie with President Barack Obama. The Red Sox visited the White House on Wednesday to celebrate their World Series victory last year, as all professional sports team do in this country. Ortiz’s selfie generated plenty of attention even more than a day after it was taken because it was revealed that it was a big marketing...

Amtrak Residency Program begins taking applications from writers
March 9, 2014 | 3:49 am

zephyrAs was promised a few days ago, the application process for the Amtrak Residency Program has opened up. Amtrak discusses it in a blog post, and links to the actual application form. Up to 24 writers will be chosen for the first batch of residencies, taking place from March 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015. The application form asks why you want an Amtrak Residency, and how it would benefit your writing, and gives you 1,000 characters to answer each question. Then it asks you to upload a sample of your work, of up to 24 megabytes in size....

Anne Rice, other authors sign petition asking Amazon to take action against forum trolls, bullies
March 4, 2014 | 7:35 pm

greenblackboardEarlier today I talked about the Twitter flamewar that led to Jonathan Ross stepping down from hosting the Hugos. However, Twitter isn’t the only place you’ll find people behaving badly on the Internet. The Guardian reports that author Anne Rice is taking a stand against abusive anonymous comments posted on Amazon. She’s gotten a petition together with nearly a thousand signatures asking that Amazon enforce its own community standards against anonymous trolls and flamers who post hectoring attacks against authors and other commenters. We’ve reported on complaints about people using the “one-star nuclear option” for reviewing products whose publisher...

The vitriol of Twitter: How social media torpedoed Jonathan Ross hosting the Hugos
March 4, 2014 | 1:12 pm

Twitter as kid with red crayonHere’s an interesting article from The Nation about problems the feminist movement is having in discussions on Twitter. The fundamental problem is “intersectionality”: people in the feminist movement are other things besides “just” female—they’re rich or poor, they’re white or minority, and so on—and people at one end of a spectrum find things to be angry at the people on the other end about, even though they ostensibly share a common cause. And this anger is compounded by the Twitter discussion medium, whose short bite-sized chunks can lead to a spectacularly toxic environment. I don’t really have anything to...

Morning Roundup: Bad Tech Habits To Break, Is Anyone Reading Your Tweets and more
December 24, 2013 | 9:00 am

bad tech habits14 Bad Tech Habits To Break In 2014 (Forbes) Thanks to smartphones, cloud technology and social networks, we can take the Internet with us everywhere these days. The down side–we can take the Internet with us everywhere these days. *** (Almost) No One Is Reading Your Tweets (All Things D) Do you like to post things on Twitter? That’s cool. As long you’re cool with the idea that almost no one will read what you type. *** Tablets Are Becoming More Important Than Smartphones For Online Shopping, But Retailers Aren't Ready (Business Insider) This year will mark a major milestone for tablets and their influence on Internet...

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