TRE 22 First Impressions of the iPad

April 3rd, 2010

Several hours after fetching my iPad in Denver, here are some initial thoughts on how it stacks up against the Kindle, and more. The one thing I left out was how heavy it seems compared with the Kindle 6-inch. That’s probably a deal breaker for reading in bed and long reading of just about anything, as well as tossing something in my bag to carry with me for occasional chances to read.

Still, this is a mysteriously compelling creation. It has my curiosity fired up to 11, as if I’m a remnant human who never saw a pencil before, wondering what to do with it. That may just be the three hours of sleep talking!

I’m sorry this video player shows as a black screen. I promise: If you click on it, it will play.

TRE 21 Kat Meyer

March 30th, 2010

Kat Meyer is the new community manager for O’Reilly Media‘s Tools of Change (TOC) conferences. Kat knows social media AND publishing.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

We talked about Digital Rights Management (DRM), Facebook, and her ideas for building on the success of the Tools of Change publishing conference.

Click here to download this episode.

TRE 20 Andrew Malkin

March 30th, 2010

Andrew Malkin is Vice President – Book Content at zinio, a privately held company that calls itself the largest online newstand in the world, with more than 50,000 digital magazines and books and e-stores in 15 languages.

I interviewed Andrew on March 14, 2010, in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest Interactive conference.

His varied experiences in the publishing world give him deep background in an industry headed for massive change through initiatives like the ones zinio is championing.

You can get a taste for the rich magazine content zinio is offering by checking out their Read Green Initiative and signing up for a free one-year subscription.  I tried the National Geographic, and it’s fantastic.

Click here to download this episode.

TRE 19 Russell Reeder

March 30th, 2010

Russell P. Reeder is president and CEO of LibreDigital, a key player in the digital publishing world.  Based in Austin, Texas, LibreDigital helps publishers get closer to their digital reading consumers, whether that’s through Amazon or directly with LibreDigital’s own marketing, distribution, and fulfillment tools.

I recorded this interview on March 14, 2010, in Austin, Texas, during South by Southwest Interactive, at a reception for digital publishing types sponsored in part by LibreDigital.

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TRE 18 Pablo Defendini

March 29th, 2010

I had a lively chat on March 14, 2010, in Austin, Texas, with Pablo Defendini, who is producer of , the very alive web presence of Tor Books, which is an imprint of Macmillan.  In fact, Pablo was the one whom John Sargent, Macmillan’s outspoken CEO, asked for help creating a personal blog.

You can check out Pablo’s own blog here, and follow him on Twitter here.

If you think it’s easy to tell who the bad guys are in the eBook Revolution, talking with Pablo Defendini will cure you of simplistic judgments.  He’s the very model of a modern digital guy, working within an industry steeped in literary tradition. It’s a great story.

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TRE 17 Jim Jones & The Edge

March 29th, 2010

Jim Jones, an associate professor of management at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has been trying out the dual-screen eDGe by Entourage since his arrived among the first units shipped in February.  From his vantage point in a higher-ed classroom, Jim has been trying out the eDGe to see how suitable it may be as a teaching tool for undergraduate and graduate students.

Jim discussed his ideas about Kindle use in classrooms in October, 2009, in this episode of The Kindle Chronicles.

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TRE 16 Rusty Shelton

March 23rd, 2010

On March 13, 2010, during a break between sessions at South by Southwest Interactive, I interviewed Rusty Shelton, who is managing director of Phenix & Phenix, a 16-year-old literary publicity agency based in Austin.

His agency helps authors build relationships using print, radio, TV, and online. Their clients include everything from the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, to true crime, to Christian books.

If you have any interest in publishing your own work taking advantage of online tools, I think you’ll find Rusty’s advice valuable and though-provoking.  In general, I found it intriguing to see into the fast-changing world of publishing through the eyes of a literary publicist who loves his job and clearly knows what he’s doing. Click here to follow Rusty on Twitter.

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TRE 15 Katherine Tasheff

March 21st, 2010

On March 13, 2010, Katherine Tasheff was a panelist at one of the most buzz-worthy sessions of South by Southwest Interactive, titled “iPad: New Opportunities for Content Creators.” She is executive director, digital media and marketing at Hyperion.

I interviewed Katherine immediately after the panel, and we discussed many topics related to eBooks, including pricing, Hyperion’s enlightened belief that “windowing” eBook titles for delayed release does not make sense, and what the iPad may make possible for publishers.

It’s refreshing to find someone as tuned into the digital world as Katherine is, working within an established publishing house. Bravo, Hyperion!

Click here to download this episode.

TRE 14 Bill Jensen (formerly known as TRE 12)

March 13th, 2010

Bill Jensen, Director of New Media at Village Voice Media Holdings, was a panelist today at South By Southwest.  The topic of the session, “iPad: New Opportunities for Content Creators,” drew an overflow crowd to the Radisson Hotel 21 days before the iPad will be available in Apple stores and for delivery of pre-orders.

Jensen gave a fairly confident assessment of the digital future for his company’s string of 17 alternative weekly publications, including the mothership, The Village Voice, as well as Denver’s own Westword.

He described why the iPad is generating such interest among publishers like himself.  I left the session convinced that the hype about this device is not a mirage.  Time will tell, and pretty soon. Meanwhile, geeks at SXSW aren’t the only ones suffering from iPad Distortion Syndrome. Click here for video of Stephen Colbert’s Grammy’s gambit that got one into his hands, briefly.

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TRE 13 Douglas Rushkoff

March 12th, 2010

Douglas Rushkoff, author of Life, Inc.: How the World Became A Corporation And How To Take It Back (Hardcover, Kindle), was a featured speaker today at South by Southwest Interactive. His topic was “Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age.”

After signing his books (including the staged “signing” of the copy I’d downloaded to my Kindle, in photo at right), Doug agreed to do an interview for the podcast while I drove him to the airport for his flight home to New York. This gave me a chance to hear his views about the role of eBooks in the long sweep of history that he is considering these days in his critique of Internet culture and the corporatization of life in general.

Despite his weighty obsessions and somber views, Douglas Rushkoff in person is full of life and wit.  He described his preparation for an appearance in July, 2009, on the Colbert Report interview hot seat, and I’ve included the audio of that encounter at the end of the podcast. Click here for the video.

Click here to download this episode.