Four short links: 7 March 2011

Heritage Games, Unpredictable Publishing, Timezones, and Map Tiles

  1. DigitalKootPlaying games in Digitalkoot fixes mistakes in our index of old Finnish newspapers. This greatly increases the accuracy of text-based searches of the newspaper archives. (via Springwise and Imran Ali on Twitter)
  2. Some Things That Need To Be Said (Amanda Hocking) — A.H. is selling a lot of copies of her ebooks, and she cautions against thinking hers is an easily reproduced model. First, I am continuously overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do that isn’t writing a book. Middlemen give you time in exchange for money. Second, By all accounts, he has done the same things I did, even writing in the same genre and pricing the books low. And he’s even a better writer than I am. So why am I selling more books than he is? I don’t know. I’m reminded of Duncan Watts’s work MusicLab which showed that “hits” aren’t predictable. It’s entirely possible to duplicate Amanda’s efforts and not replicate her success.
  3. A Literary Appreciation of the Olson Timezone Database — timezones are fickle political creations, and this is a wonderful tribute to the one database which ruled them all for 25 years.
  4. TileMilla tool for cartographers to quickly and easily design maps for the web using custom data. Open source, built on Mapnik.
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