Everyone keeps a few tabs open that he (or she) hopes to someday get to and do something about. Or so I delude myself. On the other hand, my current crop runs twice around the building, so it was in need of a trim. Here’s a selection.
You are not a large corporation – a manifesto for the self-employed, by Paul Jarvis. Not innovative, but a war cry that rings true about the advantages of waging business in slippers. The innovation, in this case, is in the medium. Which I’m getting to enjoy and appreciate a lot.
Correct, reuse and get context: letting users use your content. The new features of a Chilean-born site mix participation with managed plagiarism. Three ideas worth exploring whenever you publish news on the web, not all of them equally innovative.
It’s the platform, stupid. The Digital Public Library of America has gone and created not a new version of its online infrastructure, but a reusable platform filled with open APIs and other goodness. As any multimillion software company will tell you, (well-supported) platforms spawn ecosystems and standards, which in turn help you get things done your way. This one looks good, and that means it’s important.
Get over DRM: it’s a waste of business. O’Reilly’s recent day against DRM brought us this piece. TOR Books’ Julie Crisp breaks the story, the analysis, and the bottom line (no details) on selling books without DRM. To cut a long story short, the main effect DRM has is getting people hooked on piracy sites. It makes it unpleasant to do normal, common-sense things, and it doesn’t stop piracy. And getting rid of it is not a suicidal business move at all. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Julie Crisp.
Events I’ll be missing: Online Community Unconference. Happening today over in the US. Not because it’s sold out but because (alas) cross-map travel is not yet affordable. Can’t make it. There is really very little that I miss more than the opportunity to share ideas and learn with fellow professionals (or gawk intently at outright experts). Living in a very pleasant corner of provincial Spain doth have its privileges… and its drawbacks. And yes, community management is a key part of publishing.
Philippe Starck: creativity and system. The HBR brings this collectable interview of one of the most famous modern creative professionals, and unearths both system in his (likely) madness, and a degree of quirkiness to go with it. Discipline, in the end, to channel oneself into work. Not to mention a certain amount of genius. Practical lessons and entertainment; a worthy read, a revisitable classic. Behind a paywall (of sorts). Take note.
Next up: publish and share… physical objects. You have not read Macumag’s excellent piece on 3D printing because it’s still unpublished, but just think about this. Custom-built objects are coming to a corner shop next to you, if not to your garage workshop. But they come with associated intellectual property: that of the creators or designers of the object that is being modded and/or printed. And that opens whole immense venues of change. Crafting has become a branch of the publishing industry… or it will.
Disrupt thyself, publisher. I do love Whiteboard, it keeps bringing up surprising pieces far from the trodden path. This one is a nice analysis of how Schibsted, a traditional news publisher, upturned its own business to end up owning a very substantial (and different!) one. Not a path that can be copied, but a very practical lesson in how to react to clear and present changes in the business.
Learn to live off the State. After all, you paid for it, didn’t you? Now governments everywhere are scrambling to publish and foster reuse of data and content they have gathered along the ages. Whole treasure troves of data to be mined, of sources to be used (I do love the INE‘s open access to economic statistics, it takes the guesswork out of writing, and makes punching holes in opponents so much easier) but also of filmed and written content ready to be exploited: why, only in May six different television channels have reused content I produced for a Spanish Ministry and the European Commission. Three of them repackaged it a little, the rest used it raw. If they can, so can you (at least when governments finally get their act going). Start investigating, this is important.