Four short links: 7 March 2011
Heritage Games, Unpredictable Publishing, Timezones, and Map Tiles
- DigitalKoot — Playing 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- TileMill — a tool for cartographers to quickly and easily design maps for the web using custom data. Open source, built on Mapnik.