digital content

What Bin Laden's Death Teaches Us about Modern Media

I'm sitting here on an historical Sunday evening watching the news of Osama Bin Laden's death unfold in real time. It's been over an hour since the news of a pending presidential statement first hit the national airwaves. It got me thinking about the state of media based on how I was digesting and consuming it. Here are a few thoughts:

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Books without Borders: The Digital Infinite Library

It almost goes without saying that the recent demise of bookseller Borders, which is in the process of liquidating more than 200 of its superstores around the nation, was inevitable. The rise of digital book culture has made many of the traditional trappings of a physical bookstore presence obsolete.
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Does Paper Outweigh Digital?

We know that viewing information on paper causes more emotional processing in the brain than the same information viewed on a screen (see Paper Beats Digital for Emotion), and there’s another way paper might be better: its weight. The idea comes from the same study that found that softer chairs increase negotiating flexibility.

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Closed Publishing Apps? I Don't Get It

Or rather (sadly), perhaps I do.

So The Daily is finally with us. My disclosure right up front is that (since it is not available in the UK) I haven't actually seen it. I applaud bold experimentation of this kind but the written and video reviews of it have left me somewhat underwhelmed. It's a shame. The concept of consuming news and feature driven content via a tablet interface is genuinely exciting.

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The Art of Creating Emotional Attachments to Digital Objects

The argument for or against e-books always seems to boil down to one central issue: e-books can not be touched, bookmarked and lovingly annotated in the same way that real books can (sorry, Kindle). The early adopters will always embrace digital content, on whatever device is offered to them. It's the middle- to late-adopters who need an additional emotional connection to that digital content before they will embrace tablets and e-books. The current approach to "flipping pages" on a tablet is a cute start, of course, but there's more that can be done to create emotional attachments to digital objects.

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The Digital Tablet: Creating an Alternative to "Lean Forward" or "Lean Back"

During the peak of the social media revolution, "lean forward" was one of the buzzwords that was bandied about quite often to explain the changing habits of media consumption. The term “lean forward” implied a deeper engagement with the content, rather than just passive consumption - the type of content that you'd share with your friends on Facebook, tweet about on Twitter and interact with in real-time.

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Embracing the Flow

Last spring I wrote a research memo for the Convergence Culture Consortium about dealing with the unfettered flow of content in contemporary entertainment industries. It’s now public and you can download the PDF here:


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Do You Want To Be a One Hit Wonder?

If you look around, there are plenty of companies that will tell you they can create videos that will go viral for you. And since the birth of youtube, that's been the holy grail of marketers -- get a video to go "viral."

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Kickstarter, Tim Ferriss and a New Pricing Model for Creative Assets

Ever since the introduction of the iTunes music store, I was under the impression that $0.99 would become the default price for all digital content. One way or another, content would be continually sliced and diced into ever-smaller pieces of micro-content, such that the market-clearing price for that content would become $0.99. Then I ran into Kickstarter, the innovative crowdfunding site for artistic and creative projects.

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