👓 Why I’m Leaving Medium | Praxis – Medium

Read Why I’m Leaving Medium by Tiago Forte (Praxis – Medium)
I’ve been writing on Medium for three and a half years.

Some of these reasons are very pragmatic for everyone, but he’s also got some business specific ones that touch on things many small businesses would want control over as well. He additionally points out some very subtle changes in media for people who are reaching out to niche audiences. Some of this is reminiscent to things Leo Laporte has spoken about in the past with respect to leaving television and cable to start a podcast network, except in that case there really wasn’t a huge amount of competing media, so instead of moving to silos (which didn’t exist at the time for his use case) he went straight to using his own platform.

Replied to Indie Communities and Making Your Audience Known by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)

It sounds ludicrous now, but back in 2014, when I cofounded Known as a startup, a lot of people were questioning whether a business even needed a website. Pockets of people - for example in the indieweb community, which I enthusiastically joined - were pointing out how short-sighted this was, but it was a minority opinion. There was Facebook and Twitter! Why would you want to have any kind of property that you fully controlled on the internet?

Fast forward to today, and... 

As I read this, there are some underlying ideas that again make me think that newspapers, magazines, and other journalistic outlets should pick up the mantle of social media and help their readers (aka community) by providing them with websites that they can control and use to interact. Many newspapers and other outlets are already building their own CMSes and even licensening them out to other papers, why not take the next step and build a platform that can host and manage websites for individual users? They’ve got most of the infrastructure there already? Why not tack on a few simple things that allow their users to better interact with them on the open web. It solves their ownership issues as well as their reliance on social media silos and could even provide a nice, modest income stream (or even a bonus that comes along with one’s subscription?)

Perhaps Kinja wasn’t a bad idea for a CMS cum commenting system, it just wasn’t open web enough?

📑 Bullet Journal: One Book to Rule Them All | Jamie Todd Rubin

Annotated Bullet Journal: One Book to Rule Them All by Jamie Todd Rubin (Jamie Todd Rubin)
Isaacson pointed out that more than 7,000 pages from Da Vinci’s notebooks survived to today–a stretch of 500 years. He asked how many of our tweets and Facebook posts will survive even 50 years. Paper, it turns out, is a durable medium of information storage.  

Of course one also needs to think about reach and distribution as well. His notebooks have much more reach and distribution now than they ever did in his own lifetime. Where’s the balance? Blogging about it, syndicating to social media, and then printing paper copies in annual increments?

Reply to 5 CMS tools for indie bloggers | Indie Digital Media

Replied to 5 CMS tools for indie bloggers by Richard MacManus (Indie Digital Media)
This is a golden age for indie digital media creators, who have more content creation options than ever in 2019. In fact, there are arguably too many tools to chose from. That’s why I’m going to regularly examine the tools of digital media creation here on IDM - for everything…

I’ve primarily relied on WordPress.org for ages and have and have often used WithKnown, but I also have a few sites using Drupal. While I wouldn’t suggest non-technical folks using Drupal, whose technical requirements have rapidly been increasing over the past several years, I would recommend taking a look at a fantastic Drupal fork called BackDrop CMS.

While it still has a lot in common with Drupal, it has reconfigured the core to include some of the most commonly used and requested plugins and they’ve done their best to make it prettier and easier to use for hobby-ists and bloggers as well as small businesses and non-profits that don’t need all the additional overhead that Drupal brings. It’s also got a small but very dedicated community of developers and users.

I’ve also been hearing some great things about Craft CMS, which you highlight, as well as Perch by Rachel Andrew and Drew McLellan.

👓 5 CMS tools for indie bloggers | Indie Digital Media

Read 5 CMS tools for indie bloggers by Richard MacManus (Indie Digital Media)
This is a golden age for indie digital media creators, who have more content creation options than ever in 2019. In fact, there are arguably too many tools to chose from. That’s why I’m going to regularly examine the tools of digital media creation here on IDM - for everything…

Indie Digital Media by Richard MacManus

Followed Indie Digital Media by Richard MacManus (Indie Digital Media)

For creators & fans of independent digital media

A new blog by our friend Richard MacManus has not only hit the digital presses, but there are several posts up already. Like most of what he writes, this looks like it will also be required reading. I suspect it’ll also be of interest to the broader IndieWeb community as well.

Seeing this also reminds me to finish compiling a list I had started based on one of our conversations about topic-specific indie blogs.

👓 2019 Book Industry Predictions: The Butterflies Will Flap Their Wings | Smashwords

Read 2019 Book Industry Predictions: The Butterflies Will Flap Their Wings (blog.smashwords.com)
Welcome to my annual publishing predictions. I’ll start by sharing some thoughts on the state of the indie nation and then I’ll jump int...

This post is very anti-Amazon and has an IndieWeb flavor. Sadly, it comes mostly from the perspective of yet-another-silo that is competing with Amazon. A better and more holistic solution would be for them to be supporting authors owning their own platforms for publishing and distribution. 

There’s also a useful question brought up here about the idea of discovering new authors and new books. It’s a similar problem faced by websites and other online content in general. Silo’s general nature and the algorithms they can bring to bear have solved some of the discovery question (for their own enrichment). Solving this from an indie perspective isn’t just useful from the website content perspective, but it’s also very important for the book sales perspective.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


From Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem (1923)

I’ve been thinking lately about writing some poetry and putting it here on my site. Since the muses aren’t visiting today, I thought I would republish Frost’s poem today to to celebrate its entering the public domain. Perhaps I’ll think of a way to remix it too…

Featured photo credit: P1020911 flickr photo by pekka.jarvelainen shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

👓 Do Scholastic Book Fairs Live Up to the Nostalgia? | The Atlantic

Read The Fleeting Magic of Scholastic Book Fairs (The Atlantic)
Years later, many adults still pine for the days their school libraries, auditoriums, and gyms transformed into pop-up bookstores.

👓 Bottleneck at Printers Has Derailed Some Holiday Book Sales | New York Times

Read Bottleneck at Printers Has Derailed Some Holiday Book Sales (New York Times)
A backlog at the printing presses, plus a surging demand for popular hardcover titles, has hurt publishers at peak sales season, with popular titles out of stock in some stores.

👓 Why Books Matter for the Long Run | Knowledge@Wharton

Read Why Books Matter for the Long Run (Knowledge@Wharton)
Book publishing is a business and increasingly a technical one, but at its heart it is an art, writes Peter J. Dougherty in this opinion piece. He is the editor-at-large at Princeton University Press,

A nice little essay here.

👓 An Interview with John O’Brien | Dalkey Archive Press

Read An Interview with John O’Brien (dalkeyarchive.com)
The following interview was conducted in-house at two different times, in 2000 and 2004. The purpose of the interview was to provide a very readable documentation of Dalkey Archive Press’s mission and history. It was amended in 2004, and likely will be amended again in the future, to reflect changes in the culture that have an impact on the work we do.

After reading this interview, how could one not want to devote their life to supporting such an institution?

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

subversive  

maybe also the word uncomfortable?

December 19, 2018 at 05:10PM

uncomfortable  

ha!

December 19, 2018 at 05:11PM

There is no sense that this particular novel has its place among-and should be evaluated against-a whole history of other novels.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:14PM

As with all of the arts, literature was once upon a time entirely made possible through patrons. This goes at least as far back as Shakespeare and Ben Jonson. They were able to write because their patrons provided them financial support. And this was of course true of all of the other arts. Beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century, however, literature and commerce got mixed.  

In some sense, there is a link between these areas of art/writing and funding and what we see in social media influencers who in some sense are trying to create an “art” for which they get paid. Sadly, most are not making art and worse, most of them are being paid even worse.

December 19, 2018 at 05:18PM

While many people say that such and such a book changed their lives, you can be sure that they could not tell you who published the book. The identification is with the book and its author, not the publisher.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:25PM

My models were New Directions Press and Grove Press.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:32PM

Michael Orthofer at the Complete Review  

December 19, 2018 at 05:35PM

Academics will probably bristle at this thought but, at least in relation to literature, all you have to do is look at the courses that are offered featuring the literatures of other countries. Not only don’t they teach these literatures, they don’t read them.  

We certainly could use an Anthony Bourdain of literature to help peel back the curtain on other countries and cultures.

December 19, 2018 at 05:38PM

I think only the philistine mind thinks that art needs a social or moral justification.  

Quote of the year.

December 19, 2018 at 05:46PM

A prerequisite for war, as well as bigotry, is that one sees a people or a country as a stereotype, as something sub-human or non-human; this is why politicians spend so much time trying to create stereotypical images for those countries they want to go to war with.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:48PM

Small publishers are oftentimes awful at getting their books out to people, even though of course the marketplace determines many of the limitations.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:51PM