Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 12: Writers and Writing

This week we have a guest lecture from Kate Pullinger (please see the seperate post).

Here are this week's discussion questions:

Week 12: Writers and Publishing
Q1. ““If you’re trying to persuade people to do 
something, to buy something, it seems to me you 
should use their language, the language they 
use every day, the language in which they 
~David Ogilvy. Think about Ogilvy’s quote in 
relation to creating and publishing in the 
transliterate world. What is the 
people’s language now?
Q2. Media companies are 
experimenting with “user-generated 
content” and comment-enabled 
content is now ubiquitous, but most media 
companies treat those “users” as an 
undifferentiated mass (as the distasteful term 
“user” implies) and the content they “generate” 
as one big bucket of “stuff.” However, The 
Huffington Post has a different system. Top 
commenters can become featured, 
really, those who have published the most, now 
become recognised as writers. (Read about it 
community serve as a credibility/value filter alter 
traditional roles of writing and publishing? Do 
you see similar examples of this kind of “wisdom 
of the crowds” in your daily life?
Q3. Even with the iPad, e-books (not the apps) 
are fairly conventional. We download them, and 
then turn pages and bookmark interesting 
excerpts. What are your five top ways that we 
can expand the social reach of e-books?


  1. Interesting - the Huffington Post appears to be a take on a blog type Wikipedia. I hope that made sense. Wikipedia uses the knowledge of the many, but most of the entries are made by a small number of people. The Huffington Post Blog appears to be using the same concept in different form of media.

  2. I think the Huffington Post model had great potential - until they sold out to AOL for $315 million! The idea of using the community as a credibility filter works when a critical mass is achieved. In HP's case, they were achieving something like 30 million visits per day, which is certainly a large enough-mob to provide credible commentary. I will be interested to see if AOL trys to influence the editorial policy to align the publication with its corporate objectives. There has been a great deal of negative reaction from existing bloggers on HP, as they feel that the publication's owners have profited from their "free" journalism. This may irreparably damage the reputation of the publication. (Which may simply lead to a new publication being started by disgruntled bloggers. The digital world has lowered the barriers to entry, so new ventures can be started quickly.)

  3. 5 ways:

    1. The traditional methods of getting your story out are important. So through print media; TV and Radio etc. you need to get the word out.
    2. Web sites dedicated to generate interest in the book with some images and excerpts can be created. When the book called ‘The Shack’ came out, they had the website created already.
    3. Bloggers and other online media sites should bring out the e-book for discussion.
    4. Creating a comments option for the e-book, where ideas are openly expressed is important. Reviews and comments will generate interest.
    5. Using the right technology to reach out is also important. Depending on the style of writing and target audience, you need to choose the apt technology.

  4. Top 5 ways to market e-books.
    1. Create a website that promotes e-books and coordinates "on-line" chats with authors to generate interest.
    2. Create partnerships with related companies (book stores, technology stores, even coffee shops). Purpose would be to cross promote and commission based. For example if a coffee shop sold an e-book,then they would receive commission.
    3. "Book signing" events. Instead of the "hard copy" book being signed, the electronic copy would be signed. Use traditional and new media to advertise.
    4. Social Media Sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Use to promote new titles. Use facebook advertising in order to target consumers based on demographics. Use twitter to "tease" people with new available e-book titles.
    5. Press Releases. Use the standard media release to inform public of new e-book titles.

  5. Moose - looks like a lawsuit is in place now pitting the bloggers against Huffington Post.