News Peruse: June 17, 2013

I’ve been quite the whirlwind of activity lately and that means I’ve fallen a tad behind on my reading from around the biz. Today is my catch up day and I though you all might like to tag along while I peruse the news of the last few days from the world of publishing, marketing and all points digital.

Marketers Are Not Publishing Enough Content – via the blogs at Harvard Business Review

The article asks in regards to the quality vs. quantity debate: “Why can’t brands create a lot of high quality content?” and my answer is they don’t want to pay for it. Some will, of course but many take the “how hard can it be” position and either DIY it or go for the lowest possible bidder. Result? Spotty at best – but then, you get what you pay for.

The Slow Media Manifesto – via Pando Daily article, The Opportunity for Slow Media

I found this whole idea fascinating. It touched on things I’d been noodling about (without wholly realizing I’d been noodling about them). With so many channels, so many people on those channels and all of them trying to GET THERE FIRST or POST THE MOST – media output from all this risks becoming just so much white noise. If we’re honest, for a lot of the intended audience, it’s already become just that. So what is the answer? You can’t put the toothpaste – or Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, etc – back in the tube. And no one is suggesting we do so. But there must be a way to have both the snippets, the bites, the fast and dirty along with the robust, the detailed, the involved. Like the social media version of long form journalism. The mechanism exists. They always have. It’s a question of training (or retraining) the audience who have come to accept and embrace the fast to the exclusion of the slow. Maybe it’s not a question of audience behavior and expectation. Those who want “slow media” or for that matter long form journalism will seek it out. So maybe it’s not about training an audience to want it (or retaining them to want it again) but about serving an audience who is already out there but undeserved. In which case, it’s about making it more widely available and therefore easier to find

Conjuring Cohesion and Purpose: How Ursula Nordstrom Cultivated Maurice Sendak’s Genius via the always interesting Brainpickings

“Yes, Moby Dick is great, but honestly don’t you see great gobs of it that could come out?” Yes, the great Ursula Nordstrom and I are on the same page there <g> But seriously, this is a wonderful letter – conversational, motivational and encouraging ALL at the same time. And, of course, beautifully written. No one writes letter like this anymore. Pity.

 The Librarian’s List – happily discovered on Pinterest

Described as “a list of our most beloved books, “bookish” quotes, and book lists created by librarians for librarians and the world” – this has kept me delightfully occupied for FAR too long lately. I have just started compiling my own recommended bookshelf on Pinterest so it was LOVELY to find this. Daunting yes as it is so much better curated and vastly bigger than mine. But oh so inspiring. A great use of Pinterest, too.

Bookstores! Not news per se but an item of interest. I am always on the lookout for new bookstores of all kinds (and being only a short train ride to Oxford, this quest is easier than ever. The town is full not only of students, bikes, tourists and history around every corner. It’s FULL of bookstores and I wanted to mention the two that have been tempting me (and terrifying my bookshelves) of late:

The Last Bookshop – what a sad name, right? But you don’t stay sad for long and here’s why. Every book in the place is £2. That’s right. EVERY BOOK. It’s a remainders shop but unlike most remainders shops (full of books that are remaindered because you couldn’t imagine anyone buying them in the first place no matter how discounted, this one stocks remainders and returns largely from literary and specialist publishers. Lots of classics, a nice selection of university press stuff, quality non-fiction. That said, there is also a nice sized children’s section with plenty of offerings from mainstream trade presses and a very interesting cookery books section that I will showing to my mother (the great cookbook collector) next time she is visiting.

Blackwells – which we have ALL heard of (at least we should have) and which I have been to many times since moving to the UK. I have yet to not discover something new and fabulous on every trip. Last time I spent more time than usual in the Posters and Art shop (located across the street from the main bookshop) and I have PLANS for the walls in every room of this house as a result.  But the Art and Poster shop isn’t just posters and postcards. They have a gorgeous and really impressive stock of art, photography and film titles as well. If I won the lottery, I can guarantee that a goodly portion of my first installment would be spent here. If you can’t get there right away, you can take a virtual tour of the main bookshop on Broad Street.

And now, back to your (and my) regularly over-scheduled day. Check back soon for more updates and another episode of “News Peruse.”


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