Thursday, February 2, 2012

Around the Word

Big, bad Amazon. Tech news site PandoDaily doesn't feel bad for publishing companies these days. They share a long email from an anonymous publisher that's well worth a read, as it lays out a very pessimistic, very paranoid, and very probably true view of Amazon's long-range plans for a publishing industry takeover. The publisher's verdict: "Publishing is a quaint little industry based on romance and low profit margins. But now we're in Amazon's sights, and they're going to kill us."

Pin that speech! Are you using cool new social sharing site Pinterest? The site allows users to "pin" items of interests (videos and images) to themed boards, which are then visible to anyone who follows you. While early adopters have mostly been interior designers and wedding planners, speechwriting blog The Eloquent Woman shows how versatile the site can be, by creating a Pinterest board full of speeches by famous ladies, as well as "Ideas, information and inspiration for women (and men) on public speaking and presenting."

Novel groupthink. In Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald has facilitated the creation of the first crowdsourced novel, GalleyCat reports. The newspaper published each chapter, giving readers two days to submit the next one, and an editor selected the best of the bunch to publish. You can read the entire novel, called The Necklace, here.

Kill "caps lock"? Over on Slate, there's a terrific article filled with suggested commonsense tweaks to the modern computer keyboard, along with clear, justified reasons for each. It's terribly nerdy, but also terribly smart. Why do we still need keys like "pause/break"? Why don't we have a dedicated key for an ellipses or em-dash? Why is the exclamation point so far away from the period and question mark? We'd love to see some or all of these changes implemented. Do you have other ideas for a better keyboard? Share them in the comments.

No comments: