It's not a huge stretch to posit Amazon as the reverse-Valve of the ebook world, constantly pushing the envelope in unexpected ways, aggressively experimenting with pricing, developing a core of popular franchises, while staying focused on delivering and optimizing the best consumer experience.
Therein lies the real problem with Klout. While its Topics feature is an intriguing attempt to add a much-needed contextual layer to its linear scoring and might have some long-term potential (most likely as acquisition bait, to complement PostRank or Radian6?), overall, it's a pretty useless, Foursquare-style gamification of the worst aspects of Social MEdia.
In publishing, every day it seems there's a new upstart or three that's going to disintermediate (or even better, KILL!) traditional publishers, but with the exceptions of Open Road Integrated Media and, possibly, Ruckus Media Group -- notably, both are run by major publishing veterans and have partnerships with a variety of "traditional" publishers -- you'd be hard-pressed to name too many others that have had any truly notable impact to match the hype surrounding them.
Just as many entrepreneurs no longer need venture capitalists to launch their companies, authors no longer need publishers to publish. Mark Coker, Do Authors Still Need Publishers? Picture this: In the future, as the risks of publishing shift from the publisher to the author, publishers will be able to invest in technologies that allow them … Continue reading Do Publishers Still Need Authors?
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZGqSRtDbEw] PopCultureShock posted this great little clip about the new Blue Beetle -- Mexican-American Jaime Reyes -- and Junot Diaz' Oscar Wao, wherein Diaz notes: "The most fantastic genre can't keep up, or refuses to keep up, with how much our country has changed. And so people can dream about aliens, and they can dream … Continue reading The Most Fantastic Genre