ENTRIES TAGGED "free"

Getting your book in front of 160 million users is usually a good thing

Getting your book in front of 160 million users is usually a good thing

"Pirate's Dilemma" author Matt Mason on BitTorrent.

Pirating your own book may seem like an odd promotion strategy, but that's just what Megan Lisa Jones did with her new novel. Matt Mason, author of "The Pirate's Dilemma," says P2P platforms like BitTorrent are a great way to reach audiences and distribute content.

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Kevin Kelly on how to sell free

Kevin Kelly on how to sell free

Practical solutions for thriving in a mostly free, all-digital era.

As publishers wonder how to make money when everything digital seems to be heading for a zero-price point, Kevin Kelly offers some practical advice.

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Want to succeed in online content? Get small, be open, go free

Want to succeed in online content? Get small, be open, go free

Formation Media CEO Sam Jones on how fading publishing brands can be reborn on the digital side.

Formation Media CEO Sam Jones discusses his recipe for online content success: It has to be free, it has to be widely available, and publishers must operate at a web-appropriate scale.

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Four short links: 14 October 2010

Four short links: 14 October 2010

Google Price Index, The High Cost of Freemium, Literate Programming, Results Clustering

  1. Google Creates New Inflation Measure (The Guardian) — The Google Price Index will be based on the cost of goods sold online and could use real-time search data to forecast official figures. Clever use of unique data, but can the GPI findings be reproduced by another agency? I do like the idea of moving national statistical measures into real-time.
  2. How To Break The Trust of Your Customers In Just One Day — some horrifying revelations about how freemium worked for Chargify and their customers: Over the past year, we discovered that the customer that never paid had the highest support load. [...] Everyone’s always talking about freemium, but very few people actually use it, and we discovered this in looking at our customers for the past year. The reality was that less than 0.4% of customers had any sizeable number of free customers on their accounts. (via Hacker News)
  3. Annotated Backbone.js — very readable literate programming. (via Simon Willison)
  4. Carrot2 — open source results clustering engine.
Comment: 1 |
Four short links: 28 September 2010

Four short links: 28 September 2010

Inside Y Combinator, Freemium Numbers, Javascript IDE, and Microfinance Open Source

  1. What Happens at Y Combinator — a fascinating infomercial for Y Combinator, but it’s interesting despite the soft focus. Usually we advise startups to launch when they’ve built something with a quantum of utility—when they’ve built something sufficiently better than existing options that at least some users would say “I’m glad this appeared, because now I can finally do x.” If what you’ve built is a subset of existing technology at the same price, then users have no reason to try it, which means you don’t get to start the conversation with them. You need a quantum of utility to get a toehold.
  2. Going Freemium, One Year Later (MailChimp) — Throughout history, and across all the businesses he researched, the ratio of free-to-paid-subscribers ultimately ended up at the dismal ratio of 10:1. There were a lot of awesome presentations at that Freemium Summit. But this was the presentation (just this one slide, really) that stuck in my brain. (via Hacker News)
  3. Cloud9 IDEThe Javascript IDE by Javascripters for Javascripters. Source is open source and on GitHub. (via RussB on Twitter)
  4. Mifos — open source software for microfinance. (via msbehaviour on Twitter)
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Four short links: 19 November 2009

Four short links: 19 November 2009

Chumby One, Gorgeous IE Debugger, Freer Than Free, and Phone-a-Friend for Government IT

  1. Chumby One (Bunnie Huang) — new Chumby product released. In addition to being about half the price of the original chumby, the new device added some features: it has an FM radio, and it has support for a rechargeable lithium ion battery (although it’s not included with the device, you have to buy one and install it yourself). There’s also a knob so you can easily/quickly adjust the volume. But I don’t think those are really the significant new features. What really gets me excited about this one is that it’s much more hackable.
  2. Deep Tracing of Internet Explorer (John Resig) — very sexy deep inspection of Internet Explorer. Finally, something IE does better than Firefox (other than exploits). dynaTrace Ajax works by sticking low-level instrumentation into Internet Explorer when it launches, capturing any activity that occurs – and I mean virtually any activity that you can imagine. (via Simon Willison)
  3. Less Than Free — begins by talking about Google giving away turn-by-turn directions on Android, and then analyses Google’s “less than free” business model: Additionally, because Google has created an open source version of Android, carriers believe they have an “out” if they part ways with Google in the future. I then asked my friend, “so why would they ever use the Google (non open source) license version.” Here was the big punch line – because Google will give you ad splits on search if you use that version! That’s right; Google will pay you to use their mobile OS. I like to call this the “less than free” business model. This is a remarkable card to play. Because of its dominance in search, Google has ad rates that blow away the competition. To compete at an equally “less than free” price point, Symbian or windows mobile would need to subsidize. Double ouch!!
  4. Expert Labsa new independent initiative to help policy makers in our government take advantage of the expertise of their fellow citizens. How does it work? Simple: 1. We ask policy makers what questions they need answered to make better decisions. 2. We help the technology community create the tools that will get those answers. 3. We prompt the scientific & research communities to provide the answers that will make our country run better. New non-profit from Anil Dash.
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Four short links: 20 October 2009 Four short links: 20 October 2009

Four short links: 20 October 2009

Politics in The Age of Social Software, Ethernet Patents, Free Book Fear, Programming Exercises

  1. Poles, Politeness, and Politics in the Age of Twitter (Stephen Fry) — begins with a discussion of a UK storm but rapidly turns into a discussion of fame in the age of Twitter, modern political discourse, the “deadwood press”, and The Commons in Twitter Assembled. There is an energy abroad in the kingdom, one that yearns for a new openness in our rule making, our justice system and our administration. Do not imagine for a minute that I am saying Twitter is it. Its very name is the clue to its foundation and meaning. It is not, as I have pointed out before, called Ponder or Debate. It is called Twitter. But there again some of the most influential publications of the eighteenth century had titles like Tatler, Rambler, Idler and Spectator. Hardly suggestive of earnest political intent either. History has a habit of choosing the least prepossessing vessels to be agents of change.
  2. Apple and Others Hit With Lawsuit Over 90s Ethernet Patents — unclear whether the plaintiff is 3Com (who filed the patents) or a troll who bought them. “We strongly believe that 3Com’s Ethernet technologies are being regularly infringed by foreign and some US companies,” said David A. Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Ethernet Innovations. “We believe that the continued aggressive enforcement of the fundamental Ethernet technologies developed by 3Com against the waves of cheap, knock-off, foreign manufactured equipment is a necessary step in protecting the competitiveness of this American technology and American companies in general.” (via Slashdot)
  3. The Point — someone’s publishing Mark Pilgrim’s “Dive into Python”, which was published by APress under an open content license. Naturally this freaked out APress (it’s easy to imagine many eyelids would tic nervously should such a thing happen with one of O’Reilly’s open-licensed books). Mark’s response is fantastic. Part of choosing a Free license for your own work is accepting that people may use it in ways you disapprove of. There are no “field of use” restrictions, and there are no “commercial use” restrictions either. In fact, those are two of the fundamental tenets of the “Free” in Free Software. If “others profiting from my work” is something you seek to avoid, then Free Software is not for you. Opt for a Creative Commons “Non-Commercial” license, or a “personal use only” freeware license, or a traditional End User License Agreement. Free Software doesn’t have “end users.” That’s kind of the point.
  4. Programming Praxis — programming exercises to keep your skills razor-sharp, with solutions.
Comments: 7 |

Anderson: "It's All About Attention"

Over on Spiegel Online, Chris Anderson does a great job responding to nearly all of the standard old-media responses to new media. Unsurprisingly (I’m sure Wired would have done the same) they pulled one line from a lengthy response to create the provocative title “Maybe Media Will Be a Hobby Rather than a Job.” The full passage is much more useful and nuanced:

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Content is a Service Business

What you're selling as an artist (or an author, or a publisher for that matter) is not content. What you sell is providing something that the customer/reader/fan wants. That may be entertainment, it may be information, it may be a souvenir of an event or of who they were at a particular moment in their life (Kelly describes something similar as his eight "qualities that can't be copied": Immediacy, Personalization, Interpretation, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiment, Patronage, and Findability). Note that that list doesn't include "content." The thing that most publishers (and authors) spend most of their time fretting about (making it, selling it, distributing it, "protecting" it) isn't the thing that their customers are actually buying. Whether they realize it or not, media companies are in the service business, not the content business.

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Four short links: 30 Mar 2009

Four short links: 30 Mar 2009

A great free book, dead newspaper dig, movie Torrent wakeup, and money from free:

  1. Digital Foundations with Adobe Illustrator — CC-licensed book that gets you started using Adobe Illustrator. I’m loving it, and I have the artistic ability of a particularly philistine rock. See also their advice to authors on how to negotiate a Creative Commons license. (via bjepson’s delicious stream)
  2. How to Become a Death Of Newspapers Blogger — tongue-in-cheek dig at the recent imminent deaths of newspapers being predicted. Point taken about how unproductive these are: The point’s not to fix anything. It’s to describe the problem more dramatically than the next guy. If Steve Outing says newspapers have a “death spiral” and Clay Shirky predicts “a bloodbath,” the point goes to Shirky. Basically, imagine a group of people watching a building burn down and bickering amongst themselves about whether it’s a conflagration or an inferno. It’s like that, but with consulting fees. (via migurski’s delicious stream)
  3. BarTor, Android BitTorrent with a Twist — take a picture of a DVD’s barcode, it looks up the movie, and sends the torrent file to your desktop to be automatically downloaded. NetFlix should have a legit form of this. If iTunes Movie Store had it, you could have racks of “DVDs” in stores that you could browse and snap to “buy” (giving a cut to the store). This feels monumental.
  4. Survey of Free Business Models Online — an interesting breakdown of ways to make money from “free” on the web. (via glynn moody)
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