Four short links: 26 Mar 2009

Books, Money, Collective Despair, and a Dashboard of Doom:

  1. Will The Real iPod For Reading Please Stand Up — Sebastian Mary argues eloquently that we’re too focused on long-term writing because of the requirements and constraints imposed upon us by a mass-market paper book, whereas text online is basically an experiment in different lengths and sizes to find new balances for the new medium. a glance at the self-help or business shelves of your local bookshop will show you plenty more. And yet to make economic sense they have to be padded out for publication in ‘proper’ book size. But to conclude from this (as many unwittingly do) that long-form books are necessarily the best, rather than just the most familiar, way of communicating ideas is mistaken; and to assume that this practice will transplant to e-readers, imagined as a kind of iPod for these long-form essays, is just wrong.
  2. What I’ve Learned in Angel Investing — fascinating concrete lessons learned by an ex-Yahoo! angel. Be Wary of Entrepreneurs Who are Building for Businesses They Have No Experience In: I don’t like it when people are theorizing about how a certain market is or isn’t. They will most likely find problems that they have no experience tackling. It’s better to find a company who has a veteran of the industry they are tackling so that they have at least have some first hand knowledge of what goes on in that industry.
  3. Eco DataminingBy trawling scientific list-serves, Chinese fish market websites, and local news sources, ecologists think they can use human beings as sensors by mining their communications. Reminiscent of InSTEDD’s Golden Shadow project.
  4. Check In On the State of the Economy — a very appealing idea: a dashboard for the economy that is continuously refreshed as new data comes in. The difference between a one-off infographic and a live-updating dashboard is the difference between seeing the train and watching it race towards you. (via >Flowing Data)
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