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03 SEPTEMBER 2014

Umberto Eco: The Virtual Imagination

"But many internet programs suggest that a story is enriched by successive contributions. … This has sometimes happened in the past without disturbing authorship. With the Commedia dell'arte, every performance was different. We cannot identify a single work due to a single author. Another example is a jazz jam session. We may believe there is a privileged performance of 'Basin Street Blues' because a recording survives. But there were as many Basin Street Blues as there were performances. ... There are books that we cannot rewrite because their function is to teach us about Necessity, and only if they are respected as they are can they provide us with such wisdom. Their repressive lesson is indispensable to reach a higher state of intellectual and moral freedom."

(Umberto Eco, 7 November 2000)

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TAGS

2000authorial signatureauthoritative workauthorship • Basin Street Blues • biographybooks • books-to-be-read • booksellersbookstoresCinderella • closed universe • Commedia dellarte • comprehending languagecomputers • copying machine • e-bookelectronic literatureencyclopaediaend of booksend of print • enriched by successive contributions • every performance is different • evolving formfairy talefatefolioFranz Kafkafuture of the book • god passed over • grammatical rulesheroeshypertexthypertext fiction • hypertextual programme • hypertextual structures • Immanuel Kant • infinite possibilities • infinite texts • intellectual freedom • intellectual needs • jazz jam session • Les Miserables • library catalogue • linear narrative • linearityLittle Red Riding Hoodmanuscripts • moral freedom • Napoleon Bonapartenatural language • necessity • new forms of literacy • obsolete form • open work • Penguin edition • photocopierprint on demand • printed books • printed version • privileged performance • publishing houses • publishing modelreaderly textsreading • reading process • revisionscanningselectionshift to digital • single author • specificity of print • systems and text • tailored consumer experience • texts which can be interpreted in infinite ways • theories of interpretation • tragic beauty • tragic literature • Umberto Eco • unlimited texts • utilitarian value • Victor Hugo • War and Peace • Waterloo • William Shakespeare

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 MAY 2012

Knowledge Unlatched: a new academic publishing business model

"The Problem: specialist books in the Humanities and Social Sciences (including but not exclusively monographs) are under threat due to spiralling prices and reduced library funds.

Access is restricted: while academics could choose to bypass existing publishers and just post content on the Web, the general consensus within academia is that they would prefer to have their books professionally published.

Only a few hundred copies make it into the eight to twelve thousand research universities, and very few teaching universities have access to these materials. For many individuals private purchase is beyond their reach.

A Possible Solution: cover the costs of creating the first digital copy through a library consortium and make the titles open access. Publishers would continue to generate additional revenues from the sale of print, ePub and PDFs in bespoke formats."

(Frances Pinter, 2011)

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TAGS

2011academiaacademic journals • academic publishing • academics • bespoke format • Bloomsbury Academicbookcontent on the webdigital convergencedigital copyeconomic changeepub • Frances Pinter • groupon • humanities and social sciences • journal subscription • knowledge access • knowledge economy • Knowledge Unlatched • library consortium • long form • long form publication • longform • longform publication • media landscape • monograph • new business modelsnew digital distribution networksold mediaopen accessPDFpeer review • professionally published • publicationpublisherpublishingpublishing model • reduced library funds • research universities • sale of printscholarly journals • specialist books • spiralling prices • teaching universities

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 MARCH 2012

Open journalism: the newspaper is moving beyond a newspaper

"If the story of the Three Little Pigs broke today, how would a modern newspaper cover it? That's the concept behind a new TV ad for The Guardian, the newspaper's first major TV spot for 25 years.

The spot launches a campaign to promote the paper's 'open journalism' approach–its name for the way in which it is attempting to involve its readership in not just commenting on stories, but contributing to and even determining its news agenda. 'Open is our operating system, a way of doing things that is based on a belief in the open exchange of information, ideas and opinions and its power to bring about change,' said Alan Rusbridger, editor–in–chief of Guardian and MediaGuardian publisher Guardian News & Media. 'The campaign is designed to bring that philosophy to life for new and existing readers.'

The launch ad examines the way in which the tale of the Three Little Pigs might be covered by The Guardian today, with all the different forms of content and different channels that implies. It also seeks to get over the way in which stories develop over time as new facts come to light and the effect of social media on switching the focus of coverage and debate.

An epic two–minute version (shown above) debuted on Channel 4 last night.

Comparisons will inevitably be made with 1986's classic Points of View by BMP (indeed the Guardian itself has said that the new ad is a 'nod' to the old one. They share an endline: The Whole Picture).

But while Points of View got over its message succintly and elegantly, Three Little Pigs is less focussed, less pithy. This can be seen as a reflection of the changing nature of media–newspapers are now less about relating THE story and more about acting as a platform for multiple strands around a topic to be explored by multiple participants, including the readers themselves, in real time. But it makes for a less memorable piece of advertising storytelling.

'The aim is to reach progressive audiences and show them why they should spend time with us,' according to Andrew Miller, chief executive of the Guardian's parent company Guardian Media Group. But you have to wonder whether such progressive types would not be aware of what the Guardian is doing anyway? The ad will probably make existing Guardian readers feel better about themselves, but will its slightly daunting complexity attract many new ones?"

(Patrick Burgoyne, 1 March 2012, Creative Review)

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TAGS

adadvertisersauthorityauthorship • Bartle Bogle Hegarty • BBH (advertising agency) • bloggingcitizen journalismcoverageCreative Review (magazine)debate • depth of coverage • digital firstdigital publishingend of printjournalismmediamedia convergencemedia landscapemedia paradigm shift • news editor • newspaperold media • open journalism • open software • printprint mediaprint publishingpublishingpublishing model • range of coverage • readershipThe GuardianThe Whole Picture • Three Little Pigs • traditiontransformationtruth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 OCTOBER 2011

Guardian launches Facebook app

"The Guardian has launched a new Facebook app, becoming one of the first newspapers to launch a product alongside the social networking giant.

The new app, unveiled at Facebook's f8 conference in San Francisco on Thursday, will allow the social network's 750 million users to read guardian.co.uk articles without leaving the social network. The guardian.co.uk network of websites includes MediaGuardian.co.uk.

The Guardian is one of a number of media organisations to launch partnerships with Facebook at this year's f8, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Spotify.

'We know that a lot of Guardian readers are keen Facebook users, and vice versa, so we wanted to create a news experience that was native to the Facebook environment,' said Meg Pickard, GNM head of digital engagement.

'The app draws on the social functionality they are already familiar with to highlight and discover quality Guardian content, and makes users' reading experience more personal and relevant.

'We've had a presence on Facebook for some time, but working with them to develop this app as a Facebook Open Graph launch partner has demonstrated that it's possible to get the best of both social and news worlds. We can also engage new readers who may not already be frequently interacting with the Guardian brand, who can now discover our excellent content via their friends' interactions.'

Christian Hernandez, director of platform partnerships at Facebook, said: 'Since Facebook Platform launched four years ago, innovative companies have been transforming industries by rebuilding products through social design.

'The Guardian is rethinking how people consume news online through its new integration with Facebook, making it easier for people to discover the most relevant news through their friends.'

The Facebook app is part of Guardian publisher Guardian News & Media's shift to a digital–first strategy and comes a week after it launched its new US website homepage out of New York."

(Josh Halliday, 22 September 2011)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 NOVEMBER 2009

The end of the old print publishing model (not the end of print)

"Beautiful! Actually, you've covered this before: the end of print theme today is like the end of theater 60 years ago when TV was making its baby steps. Today we are talking about the end of the old management along with the publishing model which has been gainfully exploited for far too long. In order to survive and thrive they have to give away more every day, and successful navigating a mag or a paper this pit of freebies and discounts will indicate the future great talent in publishing. You know, since paper and rent is not getting any cheaper and all... But 'end if print?!' Goodness, no!"

(Anton Shmerkin, 1 November 2009, comment on magCulture.com)

TAGS

2009adadvertanimated presentationcampaignconvergenceeconomic changeeconomic modelend of printentrepreneurship • freebie • innovationiPodmagazine • Magazine Publishers of America • magazine subscription • managementmedia landscapeobsolescenceold mediaprintpublishingpublishing modelstatisticssubscriptiontraditiontransformationtrendtweet

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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