Browse Category: Other


Writing Your Own (Audio)book

A couple of interesting items I’ve run across.

The first one I mentioned earlier, that increasing breadth of content, much of it consumer-generated (self-published books for example), is all finding someone out there who wants it and is willing to pay – Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail”.

The second is a post by Seth Godin about how you shouldn’t waste energy on a business/product that needs to be a hit to be successful. Because stardom in an age of increasing competition is harder to achieve.

Well, it was always hard to achieve. That’s why movie stars and cleanup hitters make $20 million a year. And why rock stars have women throwing themselves (and sometimes just their undergarments) at them.

Hits, and being a prospective winner, are what drive much of the content creation out there. If there wasn’t a bestseller list and the prospect of a million-dollar advance from Random House… someday…. then would all this great long-tail content be getting generated? Or do people just create because they feel the need to create?

I think we need both the hits (to drive creation) and the long tail (to drive rewards for creation). It’s great. I predict that superstar salaries will start to go down as people with bank accounts realize celebrity just isn’t what it used to be.

And talented people everywhere will get a little more celebrity. That has to be better for everybody. I’m getting sick of Tom Cruise anyway.


Glad I’m Not the Only One (Underutilizing Podcasts)

Fresh research shows that most people who click on podcast links, including presumably our own audiobook podcasts, don’t actually listen to the darn things.

Certainly, they don’t listen to podcasts on their portable players. Maybe people click on podcast links because they think they’re supposed to?

They are, after all, very cool. I love saying it. Podcast. Podcast. Podcast podcast podcast.

I’m happy to admit that I don’t listen to podcasts. I have an iPod, I know what a podcast is, and I know where to get them.

I did download a video podcast a while ago of Ask a Ninja, which I thought was hilarious, but then I never downloaded another one.

Not least of why because I don’t trust my iTunes software to manage my music library, so I turned off the whole update automatically thing. I haven’t noticed my life deteriorating, not even relative to my podcast-saying-but-not-doing friends.

I’m just glad I’m not the only one clicking on podcast links because I think they’re cool. Wait, here comes a co-staffer, I have to find some podcast links and click on them.


Most People are Stupid

I often wonder whether people are basically good, or basically evil. It would appear that it’s more interesting to think about whether they’re basically intelligent, or basically stupid.

Scott Adams’ (author of the Dilbert audiobooks) writes a blog about mob rule and the definition of ‘right’ being determined by the majority, defined as 67%-ish of the public.

If you assume people are basically stupid and we elect politicians to protect us from ourselves, then Adams is probably wrong, and you watch too much television.

If you think politicians decide policy independently of what is considered ‘right’ by the 2/3 majority, then Adams is probably wrong, and you don’t watch enough television (C-span).

But if you think that in general, government policy follows the popular opinion of what is right (2/3 because we have to filter out hypocrites)… then Adams is right.

And Adams IS right. People are basically intelligent. Especially people who “read” audiobooks, even if they call it listening. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.