How eBooks Can Save Journalism

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At the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), Michelle Bachmann said a lot of things that weren’t true. She said she got the information from a self-published book, Presidential Perks Gone Royal. It’s written by a Republican lobbyist.

Bachmann trusted a book’s facts. Nothing wrong with that. However, with the filters for publication down, lies and truth are indiscernible. Promotional muscle is all one needs to propagate self-published propaganda.

Journalism used to show us the truth. That happened in this case. But for how much longer? How long are people going to keep paying for something as boring as facts?

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The Internet Has Made Us All Entitled Content Thieves

paycontentThis week, the New York Times closed another loophole that got around its notorious paywall.

You know… the paywall.

The thing ensuring that one of the last bastions of what Americans call journalism (even if it’s owned by someone with a dubious background at best) doesn’t have to depend on advertising revenue that directly influences its content.

All to avoid paying $4 a week for news?

Hey, are you listening to music right now? Maybe you just read a great article on a news site. Or are you thinking about what kind of movie you’re going to watch on your computer tonight?

I bet you’re not going to pay for it.

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Google Glass: Is an App Store for Memories Just Around the Corner?

googleglassglassesGoogle Glass is Google’s latest awesomely terrifying innovation.

It’s basically a pair of dorky glasses that function as a high-definition video camera wherever you go.

The footage you record can be shared virtually with friends, in real-time.

Friends who you can see in the corner of your screen.

Sorry, they’re glasses. I mean world.

Although when you wear glasses that are a screen, the whole world becomes a screen.

The next logical step is finding a way to make stylish glasses. After that, Google will need to make contacts that can project a screen – which is already happening.

But what’s after that?

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Is the Final Draft Dead?

contentmarketingblogging2I wrote a lot of this in my car, because I have a smartphone, so now I can talk sternly to it and, magically, those incantations are turned into text.

I’ve tried this method to write blog posts before, but it never quite works because swerving through rush hour traffic isn’t the most conducive environment for good writing. If you can call speaking into a phone “writing.”

But this is my experiment, because I recently read a blog post proclaiming that the “days of working on a blog post in drafts for the last week” are now dead.

That’s right. The final draft is dead. So what does that mean?

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Why All Writers Have to Love Technology

writerstechnologyThe other day, I got in an argument with my friend over a recent article about what a few start-ups were doing to nonfiction books.

Well, “argument” is being generous. More like four exhaustive Facebook posts written by two tired people who have the same opinion about things, but disagree to pass the time.

Anyway, my friend’s position was simple: the innovations by the start-ups were bad for literature, bad for readers, and, really… just bad.

My position was that the innovations were good. Because technology is good for books. I think it could usher in a Golden Age of Creativity if everyone stops crying about it.

Here’s what the start-ups were trying to do:

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Why Can’t I Click Your Book?

Books.

Engrossing vessels of unparalleled knowledge, learning, and experience… or obsolete hunks  of text that can’t hope to compete in an era of relentlessly over-stimulated people?

The question struck me when I was reading Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run recently.

I like to run. I like learning things. And I’m not adverse to being taken to far-off, fantastical lands.

But, about halfway through, I was growing increasingly frustrated that I couldn’t actually see the things that McDougall was talking about.

The feeling left me with one pressing question:

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