Metropolis Now

September 30, 2010

Change and coping with it, is one of the central themes of this blog. Although the digital (r)evolution is an enormous driving force behind many of the changes we witness today, in the real world things move even faster. One of the biggest trends is the powershift from West to East.

Today more than half of the world’s population lives in an urban location and half of these metropolises are in The East.


Another Paradox

September 29, 2010

One of the paradoxes in our digital age is the more data, the less knowledge. The more we know, the less we know.

In 2004 I was involved in launching a radical new form of datamining, using new mathematical concepts to fight combinatorial complexities. I remember I talked about it at a tradeshow and had to use quotes from T.S. Eliot’s ‘Choruses  from The Rock’ (1934) to get my message across.

Picture me standing before mathematicians, quoting: ‘ Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’

Today there is even more data out there in the real world and here on the web. The Data Deluge is all around us.

We need new forms of information design. We need new ways of visualizing the data. Because a picture still tells more than a 1000 words. Here is a stunning documentary about visualization.

It only takes (only) one hour to watch. Time to spend versus lessons to be learned: another paradox.


The Rule of Law

September 29, 2010

The speed of change in the transformation towards electronic publishing (that’s what we used to call it a very long time ago) is picking up. Trends in technology, business, the search for new business models and very disruptive forces converge. The outcome still is blurred, but the road ahead seems to be clear. Authors will be authors, middle men will have to change, and traditional publishers have to find a new role and provide for longer lasting added value.

Some very interesting underlying points came to my attention this last week. In the avalanche of hot pressing news on devices and giant new players, we seem to forget our authors, the readers and the rule, and role of Law.

What will be the effects of the changing revenue streams on authors? They produce the original content. Will they make less in e or i? Will it be enough to collect a decent income, to keep them writing? 

Readers have great expectations, but how does one deliver?

And in a talk at Leiden University, Dirk Visser, esteemed professor and lawyer in matters of  intellectual property law, took the stand claiming that publishers who refuse to publish in digital formats misuse copyrights. In his view copyright is meant to provide the author with control on the distribution and to be paid for it. Copyright does not imply that publishers can prohibit or boycot new digital forms of distribution. Neither does copyright protect the concept of business as usual or the old ways of doing things.

Considering the effects on and benefits for authors and readers, the Dutch publishers Bertram & De Leeuw  (link in Dutch only) might have a thing or two going for them. They don’t have to fear lawsuits, at least not from authors.


Multiple media

September 28, 2010

Funny things happen in the land of the info-obese. Every morning I carefully select tweets to read. Some I retweet or post myself. These tweets appear in the sidebar of this blog too. I just read one of my tweets from this morning and thought it would be a great post in this blog as well.

Take a closer look if you please. Interesting piece of content and very nice infographic.

How’s that for multiple media?


Time will tell

September 28, 2010

This morning I had the pleasure to visit Hans Janssen, ceo of Woodwing. Woodwing, as most readers will probably know, is the de facto leader in helping publishers of magazines and newspapers to enter the post tablet digital realms. In an amazing move they have  helped TIME to publish the first iPad magazine on the same day the device was launched this spring. They keep on serving publishers around the world and new issues are launched almost every week.

I was very impressed by the Frankfurter Rundschau. I certainly hope publishers keep on experimenting and come up with new forms of content. Funny though I can not find any mention of it on their homepage.

Time will tell. Hopefully.


Ad Tech

September 28, 2010

Terence Kawaja, former investment banker and maker of video parodies, introduced a new version of the ad tech landscape recently.

One wonders why online advertising is such a hassle.


Quad Erat Demonstrandum

September 27, 2010

Q.E.D. is an initialism of the  quod erat demonstrandum, which means “that which was to be demonstrated”.

This post is a new form of demonstration. This morning I recieved a tweet. The tweet pointed me to a post on a blog. The post was posted because one of the Facebook  friends of the blogger posted a link to an editorial from April about the reluctance of the publishing industry to embrace change.

Read it and ponder on the subject of Q.E.D.