LOTD: January 12th

Slightly expanded edition.

Gather.com is getting into the literary world in a couple different ways. They’ve created a group for Borders customers to discuss movies, music and such. The partnership will get considerable in-store promotion that encourages people to connect with others and discuss what they’re reading, watching and listening to. The social network is also letting unpublished authors put the first chapter of their books online for people to check out. A round of voting determines which ones get to publish the second chapter and then more voting and so on until a couple of Simon & Schuster execs decide which final five to check out in full.

The authors of Eater.com are honking off the public officials and restaurant owners of New York City. Their blog deconstructs the hype that the restaurant industry feeds on and into by passing on the news tips and opinions of ordinary diners in the city. The site isn’t about the food – it’s about the industry and has become a popular web destination for not only every day readers but mainstream media types who report on what’s being said there.

Josh Hallett does his best to remind all of us that it’s not enough to just tally up the number of blog mentions in spreadsheet. It’s the people and what they’re saying that really makes social media important and if you take that out of the equation you lose pretty much all the perspective and potential insight that might be gained by monitoring it.

So much time is wasted and frustration is gained because it’s not easy for people to find information within a corporation. One of the things that I try to do is put just about everything that crosses my desk into our internal wiki in an attempt to solve this problem. It’s not perfect but it’s a lot easier than trying to figure out whether a particular document is on my hard drive or maybe it’s still just in email or maybe I saved it somewhere else.

Join the Book Club

I’ve been remiss in not mentioning this earlier but my blog bud CK started something really cool. Over at the Marketing Profs Daily Fix she’s spearheaded the launch of a Book Club that is designed to bring readership to some noteworthy books and facilitate the discussion within the online community of the issues raised in those books.

The first book up is Citizen Marketers by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell (which I reviewed here). The members of the club are contributing their feedback, questions and thoughts on the book to form a sort of group review and Jackie and Ben are participating in that discussion.

It’s a (actually yet another) great example of how much the authors of the book get what they’re talking about and what a wonderful “Viral Community” there is among the people I’ve gotten to know. Go on over and join CK’s Book Club and make sure to read the books being discussed.

Technology isn’t ready for distribution yet

This editorial from the Los Angeles Times sums up very nicely what I’ve been trying to say about the probable reluctance of studios to embrace the cool distribution platforms shown off at CES.

It’s not that studios don’t like home networks. It’s just that networking technology is far ahead of anti-piracy technology. And that may not be the studios’ fault. At least part of the problem is that most online retailers have relied on the electronic locks supplied by Microsoft, which tie movies and songs to a PC or similarly high-powered machine instead of allowing the movies and music to play on all the devices in someone’s personal network. Apple has taken a more network-oriented approach, but its approach is not compatible with most non-Apple products.

People are innovating new ways to share information but most of those technologies are open to the community. That’s not friendly news to the content creators. It’s important, of course, to protect copyrights and their holders but it’s also important to give people access to the movies you market so aggressively.