Friday, December 11, 2009

I’ll Be Tweeting You

Some of the January crew has been spending altogether too much time on Twitter lately. Part of this is due the fact that so much interesting has been happening. The trouble is, with everything going down on Twitter practically in real-time, sometimes it’s difficult to get up the gumption to actually write about the stuff that’s interesting. By the time you formulate a thought, the world is on to the new thing.

A case in point came yesterday when it was announced that two staples of American publishing, the periodicals Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews, would be discontinued. We saw it on Twitter first and read about it here and here and here. While people were quick to wonder what this might be saying about the publishing industry, it really does look very much as though the loss of the two respected publications were little more than collateral damage. Sad -- and pointless enough in itself, but not sufficient to start changing your career path. And even though the rise in citizen journalism is possibly not the cause of these two deaths, it’s interesting to look at that phenomena -- as has been done here -- and think about what it might mean for all of us in the long run.

While e-books and all that go with them are very much on everyone’s mind these days, I’m quite confident that the final race will not be between Amazon’s early entry, the Kindle or Barnes & Nobles’ “half-baked” nook. (Nook? Really? Who lost a contest in order for them to stick that name on it?) A lot of electronics companies are running around these days, trying to come up with Kindle killers. But Apple’s announcement that they will finally launch their Tablet computer this coming spring is likely striking fear into the hearts of all who would sell devices that help consumers read electronic books and -- in a way -- the industry. And why the fear? One word (or is it two?): iPod. ‘Nuff said.

With the end of the year and decade drawing closer, everyone is scratching out lists. While most outfits are offering up their best ofs, The Guardian scrapes out their cookie jars and shows us their worst. And while we’re on the topic, how about the top ten books of 1709?

Here’s something short and wacky: There are more Wikipedia entries about Middle Earth than about many countries in Africa. Hmmm.

Were you still thinking Oprah had mondo influence on book buyers? Forgetaboutit and check out the Tiger Effect.

The Huffington Report tells us about Eight Books That Predicted the Financial Crisis & Huff readers respond.

The third Twilight film will be six stories tall in IMAX. (Zoiks! Great, nasty teeth!)

Boing Boing offers up the most delicious tidbits. Take this one, for instance, without Boing Boing, how would we know The Nation was auctioning off a Noam Chomsky garden “Noam?”

Edit in motion: Charles Dickens’ manuscript for A Christmas Carol with author revisions. Cool.

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