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November 4, 2014

How to autograph an e-book

I went to see To Be Takei last night, and George himself was there for an interview afterwards. It occurred to me that I’d like him to autograph his book Oh Myyy, but I only have a copy on my Kindle.

So, here’s a proposal for the Kindle, the Nook, and for any other DRM-ed ebook reader: Allow us to embed one and only one photo into our copy of an ebook. That photo can never be replaced. It can be deleted, but then the slot is gone forever. This could be implemented as a special one-time-only annotation, and it would be managed by your fearsome machinery of control.

That way, I could take a selfie with George, post it into my Kindle copy of his book, and have the digital equivalent of an autographed copy.

I don’t see a way of doing this for open access e-books. Stupid open access e-books what with their “Oooh look everyone can read me!” smirks and their “Now everyone can learn and participate in culture” attitudes.

PS: To Be Takei was really enjoyable. Totally worth seeing, especially with an appreciative crowd.


August 4, 2012

More friends than fans

From a post by ireadfaux at

So a couple of days ago Bieber’s album ‘Believe’ went platinum. Twitter blew up about it and millions of his followers were congratulating him – as they do….

But here is an interesting thought….

A platinum album is 1 millions sales….

Bieber has 25 million twitter followers….

So only 4% of his supposed fan base have bought the album.

If you look at his facebook fans, he has 45 millions, so thats only 2.2% of those that have actually bought it.

But why would he care….he is a youtube partner and has had over 2.7 billion views of his videos….paid at an average of $1.25 per 1000 views for youtube partners…. thats 3.3 mill from just youtube views.

Just thoughts.

Pre-Net, a lot more people would have said they liked an artist than would have bought the latest album. You would listen on the radio or watch when they came on TV. So it’s hard to know if much has changed, if only because as far as I know we don’t know how many people liked, say, Elton John, versus how many copies of his LPs sold.

Nevertheless, the current statistics are puzzling. Are fans getting their fill of The Biebs on YouTube? On Spotify et al.? I somehow doubt that 24M fans torrented the album. Is “Liking” Beieber more of a tribal identification thing? Compared to pre-Net, is the fan-performer relationship basically the same, radically different, or somewhere in between?

I dunno how to explain these Bieber stats. And I don’t know how to know.

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May 25, 2012

Marketing music: Amanda Palmer shows you how it’s done.

A few days ago I pointed to Elizabeth ‘s thread at Reddit where she engaged with the public in a way that everyone who manages customer support, PR, or marketing ought to learn from.

Today, Amanda Palmer posted about her current Kickstarter project, which has raised $855,000 with eight days yet to run. Her goal was $100,000…except in her post she responds with complete frankness (she’s AFP, after all) about what her real expectations were. The post is both an explanation and a demonstration of how musicians and theandir audiences can love and support each other.