Archive for category publishing

Consolidating digital homes…

Something about working in professional blogging makes maintaining a personal blog seem like somewhat of a drag. ;) Like many other “internet old-timers” I have gravitated over the years towards shorter updates, shares, and more social & conversational media like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. There’s also the fatigue involved in maintaining so many separate digital profiles and identities over long periods of time, and the desire to spend more of my free time doing “less of that stuff” — at least, the bits that involve more heavy lifting. Odd that blogging feels like heavy lifting these days compared to the ease of firing off a tweet or bookmarkleting something to Tumblr…

So, for the most part you will find me at all those wonderful networks and places listed in the sidebar of this site. If anything, the best digital hub moving forward will be doctorparadox.net which will catch both my Tumblr and my music projects. Enjoy, and see you out there in the digitalsphere and beyond

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Tech writers: Tecca is looking for you!

About us

Tecca is a consumer electronics content and commerce startup based in Santa Monica, CA. We’re building a new online destination in the personal technology space and are looking for smart and creative folks to be a part of our freelance writing team.

Want to know more about Tecca? Read about us on GigaOM or check out socalTech’s interview with CEO Mickie Rosen.

About you

You should have lots of interest in technology as well as ideally some experience producing content in the realms of personal technology and consumer electronics. You should enjoy working in a fast-paced publishing environment and have the self-discipline to work effectively in a distributed virtual office. You’ll be expected to be able to talk about a broad range of technology topics (or a smaller set of topics in depth) to all levels of technology consumers, from the experienced to the technophobic. You must have a fun, friendly, and positive attitude, and should love helping others solve technology problems and learning more about the industry.

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Tecca is looking for writers!

About us

Tecca is a consumer electronics content and commerce startup based in Santa Monica, CA. We’re building a new online destination in the personal technology space and are looking for smart and creative folks to be a part of our freelance writing team. Do you love gadgets and call writing your craft? Read on for details on how to apply.

About you

You should have lots of interest and expertise as well as ideally some experience producing content in the realms of personal technology and consumer electronics. You should enjoy working in a fast-paced publishing environment and have the self-discipline to operate in a distributed virtual environment. You must have a fun, friendly, and positive attitude, and should love helping others solve technology problems and learn more about the industry.

Writers

We are building out our team of freelance contributors. We need people who can speak to all levels of technology consumers, from the experienced to the technophobic. You will be part of a large team crafting fun, easy to understand guides to and original feature columns about topics in consumer electronics. You’ll be covering both the buying process and usage after purchase. You’ll need to excel at working in a virtual environment and covering a broad range of topics (or a smaller set of topics in depth, if you have expertise in a particular area: home theater, mobile, car tech, etc.). We expect you to both tackle assigned tasks and bring your own original ideas to the table.

How to apply

Send an email to apply AT tecca DOT com with the following information:

  • Your background — let us know what you’ve been working on, what you feel your skills are, what your experience in the realm of personal technology/consumer electronics is, and what interests you about this position. If you have special expertise in any category of CE, be sure to let us know.
  • Your contact information — full name, email address, phone number, instant messenger handle, where you’re located, the best methods and times to reach you, and your general amount of availability for freelance work.
  • Example work: 3 or more bylined writing samples linked somewhere online. No attachments, please!
  • Column pitch(es): You are also encouraged to pitch us on an original feature column idea (or several). For each column you’d like to pitch, please give us the overall theme and title for your column and between 5 and 10 example topics you would feel confident covering that fit within the overall theme.

We look forward to reading your application!

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Do you love personal technology and online media? Want to help build something cool? Read on…

About you

  • You should have lots of interest and expertise as well as ideally some experience producing content in the realms of personal technology and consumer electronics.
  • You should enjoy wearing multiple hats, be flexible as roles and duties shift, and thrive on working in a fast-paced startup environment.
  • You must have a fun, friendly, and positive attitude.
  • You must either be in the Los Angeles area or willing to relocate.
 

About us

We’re a startup based in Santa Monica, CA. We’re building a new online destination in the personal technology space and looking for smart and creative folks to be a part of our editorial team. Our work environment is fun and energetic, and we offer competitive pay with benefits.

Here are the three positions we’re currently hiring:

Producer

This role will work closely with our in-house programming staff as well as help oversee a geographically distributed freelance team of writers and content creators. You will be responsible for helping to program major content areas within the site, contracting new writers, ensuring a high level of quality and accuracy in editorial, and using analytical tools to evaluate content performance. We would expect you to bring vision to our editorial direction, be able to iteratively craft original content strategies based on performance, have cogent ideas and methods for building an audience, and be able to execute on them.

The ideal candidate should have managerial experience as well as experience working with virtual teams.

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On a move, parts 1 and 2

I’m very excited to be about to complete a relocation from Ithaca, NY to Los Angeles, CA — it’s been almost 2 years in the making including various factors from stars aligning properly to learning how to be a landlord (have kept my place in NY, in the hands of great tenants) to dealing with all The Stuff in corners and closets I stashed when I had moved in 5 years earlier with best intentions to Deal With Someday… in short, it was a process. On Friday I moved in to my awesome and totally discovered by chance apartment in the Palms area of LA. Early this week my ABF U-Pack trailer arrives to reacquaint me with all the stuff that made the cut — with any luck, it will all be intact!

Along with that big move news, and actually completely unrelated, is another change: I’ve accepted an offer to take on the role of Senior Editor at Mashable.com. I’m excited to be returning to a focus on social media and social tech and working with a top-notch team at a destination that’s been in my daily feed reading since 2005.

It’s been a great year working with the fine folks at Crowd Fusion and I wish the team there all the best. I can’t really talk yet about some of the cool things coming up there and how it might mean some continued involvement with the platform, but rest assured we are parting on good terms and I have high hopes for the continued success of the company.

In between NY and CA I managed to squeeze in a bit of on the road Kerouac-style vacation, driving coast to coast in my trusty ’98 Toyota Corolla whose awesome gas mileage had me going 8 hours at a stretch before a refill with those pesky non-renewable fossil fuels. I was 13 days on the trip and only had 1 night of hotel (richly enjoyed in Deadwood, SD), staying with friends and family along the way and having many memorable adventures. The last time I made a cross-country trek was back in the Triassic Period of 1997, and this trip shared with it 2 very important pit-stops: Chicago, and Wall Drug, SD. If you’ve ever been to Wall Drug, or if you’ve even just driven on 90W through South Dakota, you know what I’m talking about.

In the “I get by with a little help from my friends” Acknowledgements section I must extend heaping amounts of gratitude to all the folks who helped make this move possible: Julia, Jackie & Joe, Mrs. Perrone (who performed the very vital role of cleaning supervisor), Chris Willett and Bobby the plumber, the affable Sears repair dude, the last-minute roofer who also regaled me with stories about his recent cross-country trips, Dounan (ice cream and heavy lifting), Meryl (fire-starter), Shane and Scott at Certified Properties, Jason and Danielle my awesome tenants, Leah and Amelia (refreshments and PA system adoption), Laura Darlington (LA intelligence ground team, Bowflex consultation), Eliot (interim home office), Dan, Diane, Erin and Ryan O’Halloran (adopted family in (too) sunny Burbank), Judith (encouragement and shared brain matter), CK (covering for my vacationing ass, etc.), Daddy Bowen (spiritual road-trip presence), Mom and Jo-Jo, Ruby (Cleveland party planner), Sam Axon (provider of Chicago food, pad, improv and Kerouac library), Tam and Lauren (Presidents of the Minneapolis Secret Spoon Society), Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, Sarge (Denver hail and smoke), Dad and Joy (Albuquerque welcoming committee), Dawn (Vegas MC and encouragement), ABF U-Pack, WestSideRentals, Peter’s Movers, Rory the super super at Carseka Apts., Clotho and the Norns, and everyone else whose inclusion would turn this section into a paperback novel.

If you’re in the LA social tech scene, I look forward to meeting you! One such opportunity happens to be coming up this Friday at the Mashable Hyatt4Good Tweetup Tour — I’ll be there with bells on, etc. If you’re not in LA but have occasion to visit, give me a shout and let’s meet up! I’ll be here whenever I’m not travelling to events, trying vainly to Do Everything Cool — a Sisyphean task if ever there was one. If you know of anything in town I Absolutely Must See, let me know that too!

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Publishers continue whining about how Google “stole” distribution on the web

Spanfeller: For some time there have been murmurings about the relative value generated by Google  vs. the parasitical nature of its business model. In short, is Google being disproportionally compensated for what is fundamentally other people’s work?”

via Forbes.com CEO Spanfeller Attacks Google, Stumbles Into His Own Cesspool.

First of all, this entire article from Danny Sullivan is a great and astute dismantling of Spanfeller’s “argument” — very enjoyable read. Second of all, I just wanted to comment on how it’s a very fascinating time to be covering technology news and witnessing a lot of huge companies from the analog era still floundering and failing to comprehend how and why the internet is eating them for lunch. As Sullivan aptly points out in the article, these companies and these industries have had years to see all this coming. The writing has been on the wall for some time, yet in all the content industries that stood to be most affected, very little was done to adapt. First in music, then in film, now in TV and publishing there appears to be some critical mass of desperation. Avoidance, massive lawsuits, walled gardens, inflating prices and whining for bailouts haven’t panned out. What’s next? Innovation or collapse.

To pick apart the above statement more finely — it’s curious to me that the CEO of a financial publication can unironically be doubting the value proposition of distribution. Are cable providers being disproportionally compensated for what is fundamentally other people’s work? Is Amazon.com being disproportionally compensated for peddling other people’s wares? Is Apple unfairly being enriched by that whole iTunes Music Store thing where they distribute content made by other people? Even as the cost of distribution falls, the value of distribution is still as high as ever — perhaps even moreso, as the flood of available content continues to increase and it becomes ever more difficult to filter. Google devised a solution to a problem they had the foresight to envision emerging. Twitter offers an intriguing and new twist on the concept of distribution channels, an idea so powerful that Facebook flat out copied it.

What publishers are really saying amidst this mess is that “people ought to like and find valuable our professionally-produced content.” While there’s a shadow of logic in there somewhere, no amount of stepping up to a podium and saying “people should read us” is going to move the needle whatsoever. A hungrier technology industry with less to lose and everything to gain has come in and offered people a treasure trove of alternatives to what “professional” publishers are offering (many of them becoming “professional” themselves along the way) along with new, interesting, fast and ultra-convenient distribution methods to find, filter and consume it. The game has changed completely and content industries are still devoting exorbitant resources in a vain attempt to roll back the rulebook instead of cultivating some hussle, summoning some hutzpah and diving into the game. Stop whining, start playing!

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Managementthink is killing MSM

“We’re looking, of course, at ways to extract payments from the consumers of our news — micro-payments, subscriptions, memberships, licensing, even voluntary donations,” Bill Keller, executive editor of The Times, said last week in a speech at Stanford University.

Time Inc. EVP John Squires used strikingly similar language in a recent statement about figuring out how to “save magazines”: these guys are busy scratching their brains about how to “get a payment from a consumer.”

So what’s missing here? How about any discussion of how to actually provide better value to the consumer? Or perhaps how to reach consumers in the new landscapes they’re inhabiting? Nope. We don’t hear much about that. It’s all fire and brimstone about how consumers have the audacity to skim headlines to absorb the news (did these guys think people read newspapers cover to cover when they come on paper?) or how Google dared to invent a way to find stuff you were looking for on the internet easily. Serving customers better value for less cost? The nerve! That’s just downright sleaz… oh wait, that’s one of the fundamental tenets of business.

This is symptomatic of a larger disease going on in business that Bob Sutton describes astutely in a piece on Why Management is Not a Profession. Business schools teach future management that the game is almost solely about “extracting value.” Mr. Keller and Mr. Squires apparently both paid attention in class, and they’re not the only ones. This model reveals capitalism in its ugliest form — an elaborate shell game in which value is artificially inflated to harvest more payment from consumers, who often have poor alternatives to forking over that $0.10 carriers tell them is reasonable cost to send 160 characters of data, or who live in areas monopolized by providers who decide 40 GB of data at the same price as the previous unlimited plan is completely logical.

If these MSM goons want to save their businesses they’d better get schooled in how to make themselves relevant to the consumers they so desperately want to extract more value from, because at the moment it’s entirely logical to sympathize less, not more, with their plight.

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AP throws tantrum, lashes out at… well, it’s not quite clear

“We’re frustrated with the way amateur and professional outlets are appropriating AP content,” the organisation’s director of strategic content, Jim Kennedy, told Forbes. “When the Red River in Fargo rises, we want people to go to the Fargo Forum. But searching for the Red River on Google might also send you to the London Telegraph.”

This just in from the Hail Mary Pass department: looks like the fourth estate is still following suit on the suit strategy of the RIAA/MPAA; they apparently plan to take legal action against a host of unnamed perps using their content inappropriately. Who these news-thieving bastards are the Associated Press doesn’t specify, and although they struck a deal several years ago with Google for use of AP content online the above quote is a very strangely passive aggressive dig at search engines who apparently are guilty of having the audacity to lead users to legitimate news sources the AP would rather you not visit.

Very curious, indeed.

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The future of journalism as institutions erode

Interesting video interview by ReadWriteWeb’s Sarah Perez with David Cohn of Spot.us, a crowd funded local journalism project in the Bay Area. I’ve been thinking a bunch about what happens to the written word as print slowly crumbles — as with Kiva.org (which David mentions in this interview) I think crowd funding has legs, especially for local issues.

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Shirky on the demise of newspapers

With the old economics destroyed, organizational forms perfected for industrial production have to be replaced with structures optimized for digital data. It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.

via Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable « Clay Shirky.

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