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The Cultural Journal Glänta is celebrating 20 years and do this with an App full of future words. Like Deppbägare, Dialogdemonstrant, Öntreprenera, and Öövermod (sorry, an English translation of these words doesn’t exist yet as hardly the words yet exist…).
A few years ago the journal invited over hundred artists, writers, researchers, philosophers, and journalists to add one piece each to the puzzle and the Future Encyclopedia was born. It started as a printed journal and has now become an App for Iphone and Ipad possible to download for free.
Nätverkstan has created the App as part of the effort of together with Cultural Journals find new, simple, and economic sound ways to publish text in print and digital format. Also download the App for the Journal Ord&Bild.
The new year and our new cultural strategic assignment kick started with a seminar at Vara Concert Hall, focused on the topic of streamed culture, last Thursday. The Swedish government has marked digitalization as an important way for culture to reach a wider audience (read here). Vara Concert Hall celebrates their 10th anniversary this fall and together with Nätverkstan they are now in the process of implementing technology and procedures to start live streaming their events. Their aim is completely in line with the thoughts from the Swedish government – especially to reach people not able to come to the cultural events, in places such as prisons, homes for the old and hospitals.
The first action in our mutual project was to identify and invite the most prominent organizations in the field to a hearing. Our aim has always been to support the small and independent organizations and we are glad that Vara Concert Hall shares this belief. Together, we also believe that sharing knowledge and solutions strengthens the efforts made, and that this is especially true in the complex field of digitalizations where new technology is introduced almost on a daily basis. The procurement of digital services is an intricate matter and smaller organizations often make mistakes in the process – which in turn means that tax money is wrongly spent on expensive and short lived solutions.
The keynote speakers were Urban Ward from Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Ulrik Flood from Digital Live Arena, Peo Thyrén from STIMand Johannes Nebel from Play Kultur. In the audience were representatives from the Swedish Arts Council, Kultur i Väst, Kultursekretariatet i Västra Götaland as well as people from cinemas and smaller cultural organizations. Moderator for the hearing (and project manager for Vara Live Stream) was Leif Eriksson from Nätverkstan.
Magnus Lemark from the Swedish Arts Council remarked that this hearing is a running start for them, as they have just been handed the assignment from the Swedish Government, to help the Swedish cultural sector over the digital threshold. And Johannes Nebel agreed that this kind of meetings to share knowledge is the best way to get knowledge and tackle new complex investments. He also said that the main problem for digital material is distribution, and that Sweden lacks the kind of marketplaces that focus solely on culture. Play Kultur was started with exactly this in mind, to become the first portal for live streamed and archived material on performing arts.
We hope that Johannes last words from the hearing gives echo and they will certainly work inspiring for our own efforts: ”Västra Götaland now has the chance to be the first region in Sweden to show how coordination of digital efforts works.”
Our cooperation with Vara Concert Hall continues, and knowledge produced within the project will be made public in a conference later this fall. But we are also open to smaller hearings in the region and we especially look forward to the 20th of May, when GSO and Play Kultur are hosting a seminar in Gothenburg. Cooperation makes us stronger!
By Carl Forsberg, Head of Medialab and Technique at Nätverkstan
The 31st of December was a historic day. The very last printed issue of Newsweek was published and distributed. From now on the only way to read Newsweek is on the web.
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine, published since 1933 in New York City and with US and international distribution. I
n October 2012 the editor Tina Brown announced that the weekly would end it’s eighty years of printed publication to go only digital. It’s an historic change and follows a period of changes within in printed press due to changing reading habits. Read more of the challenges and future of print here.
Nätverkstan managed to get the hands on a copy of the very last issue. And as the historic winds of change are blowing around us we continue our work to help small cultural journals and publicists to face the digital challenges and find solutions that are cost effective. This year the project Literature and digitization will take further steps in this direction with funding from Region Västra Götaland.
In Copenhagen it is called ”the book happening of the year”. This is also why Kulturchock made the decision to participate at the event that during the years has expanded in favour for both dedicated readers and the book industry in Denmark.
For Kulturchock it is not only the purpose to improve the distribution and visibility for the Swedish cultural magazines within the country. It is also a beneficial opportunity to overbridge borders both internationally and linguistically to show the multifaceted goldmine that we possess. The 100 culture magazines that we represent impress many of the book fairs visitors, and the question is not why the swedish magazines are there, but why the danish aren´t? Ivan Rød, head of the organisation for danish cultural magazines, tells us that the granting for these magazines har been withdrawn and that they can not afford participating. Nevertheless, the danish literature magazine Standart was elected this year´s cultural magazine in the Nordic countries.
The showcase for cultural magazines at the book fair in Gothenburg this year was a collaboration between Kulturchock at Nätverkstan and Tidskriftscentralen in Finland. In addition to the Swedish and Finnish magazines you could also find Danish and Norwegian ones. Maybe this concept can evolve and be used at future events?
Thank you for this visit, BogForum, see you again in 2013?
Post by Helena Persson, Project manager at Nätverkstan
Etiketter:Bangalore, Creative Industries, Cultural economy, Cultural Journal, Cultural Policy, Democracy, Development, Digitization, Distribution, Economy, Globalization, Literature, New economy, Transformation
One of the success stories of Stanford University, with it’s premises in Silicon Valley outside San Francisco (US), is, it’s said, to be its close relation to the businesses in Silicon Valley. It’s a symbiotic relationship. They nurture each other and many success business stories have started at Stanford; Google, Facebook, Instagram, Apple, Hewlett-Packard.
Leland Stanford, a Republican governor in the late 1800s and who made a fortune from Central Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads, and his wife decided to found a University in their late son’s name. Stanford University opened its doors in 1891 and the device was that the University should not become an ivory tower, but ”qualify students for personal success, and direct usefulness in life”. From the start, the close relationship to private funding, corporate research funds, and venture capital for start-ups, first for innovations in radio and broadcast media to todays digital technology, has been a base for the University.
The story can be read in The New Yorker (April 30, 2012) and gives an interesting light on the success story behind business ideas developed at Stanford and the philosophy behind it. But also the dangers of such a focus on success and making money.
The campus life and the atmosphere at Stanford is described as open to ideas, easy going, ”people are willing to try things”, risk-taking, access to venture and risk capital, creative. But there are also questions raised if Stanford has the right balance between commerce and learning, between getting skills to make it and intellectual discovery for its own sake? Is corporate money stearing research priorities?
David Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, who has also taught for many years at Stanford, express his worries that students uncritically incorporate the possibilities of Silicon Valley, but it’s a lack of students devoted to the liberal arts and the idea of pure learning. The one and simple question stearing choices is: What will I get out of it?
The philosophy now promoted at Stanford is the ”interdisciplinary education” and getting students to become ”T-shaped”, that is they have depth in a particular field of study and breadth across multiple disciplines. Social skills are put forward and an effort is to put together students with different majors (engineering, business, medicine, science, design) to together solve real or abstract problems.
David Kelley, the founder of design firm IDEO, is also director of Institute fo Design at Stanford (d.school), and is driven by the mission to lift empathy in his students. He wants the students to learn to see the human side of the challenges posed in class and that way provoke creativity.
Still, fewer students get into liberal arts and humanities and many become, as said by a senior Miles Unterreiner, ”slaves to the dictates of a hoped-for future”. Students become instrumental and only get majors in subjects that lead to jobs, something also supported by Universities.
It’s an interesting development. Reading Steve Jobs story and listening to many of his talks, he puts two processes next to each other as crucial for his success: The development of technology and the liberal arts.
The post is based on the article in The New Yorker (April 30, 2012) ”Annals of higher education. Get rich U.There are no walls between Stanford and Silicon Valley. Should there be?” by Ken Auletta. The photo is from a TED talk on the web.
Read more from posts on IDEO, San Francisco, and the Arts from our visit in 2008 here and posts on other interesting US visits here. Read also here the report from Svenskt Näringsliv which last year promoted less money to humanity education in Sweden, a very criticized report.
Under the crystal chandeliers in Stora Teatern, a theatre built 1859 in centre of Göteborg and with walls whispering of wonderful operas, musicals and ballets during its golden days as the musical scene in Göteborg, Italian Economist Pier Luigi Sacco and Director Christer Gustafsson talked about the role of art and culture for society development on Saturday (25th of February).
It is madness, Pier Luigi Sacco stated, what many European leaders are doing at the moment cutting cultural budgets. Art and culture is the main raw material for innovation, well-being, health and development. And he backs his arguments with research and cross-testing inquiries in different matrices. It shows for example that going to a classical concert may well have give you a longer more healthy life.
His main argument is ”active cultural participation” and he shows the innovation index shown on this page (18th of February) and puts it next to another ranking: Active cultural participation Eurobarometer. In both rankings Sweden is ranked number one. When putting these two independently done rankings next to each other, it could mean that active cultural participation has an effect on a country’s ability for innovation. If you argue for putting public money to boost innovation, make sure to also invest money in local theatre groups, music training, or different dance centres from young age and up.
Pier Luigi Sacco has a system-based method of understanding and analysis a city or region. This has been done in many places, among them he was a consultant for Vancouver (Canada) in forming a cultural strategy: The Power of Arts in Vancouver. Creating a Great City.
Christer Gustafsson is now working with the same method in the region of Halland, a region in between the two large regions Region Västra Götaland and Skåne. The placement might feel a bit squeezed at times, but this system-based and culture-led way of development is new for Sweden, Halland, and Kulturmiljö Halland, is in the forefront of these discussions. It’s about culture-led regional economic and social development.
Culture and art is the core. It’s the ”soft-ware”. The major raw material to build on.
Download the presentation of Pier Luigi Sacco (English) here: Sacco, Halmstad-Goteborg.pdf. Christer Gustafsson presentation (Swedish) can be found here:Stora teatern, Göteborg, 25 februari 2012.pdf .
Pier Luigi Sacco also visited the Conference arranged by Generator last year. And listen to an interview on youtube here done by the European network Encatc. You find another blogpost on the seminar (Swedish) here.
The seminar was an arrangement by Västra Götaland, the think tank Kombinator, in cooperation with Kulturmiljö Halland and Nätverkstan.
Etiketter:Artistic practice, Creative Industries, Creativity, Cultural economy, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Development, Digitization, Economy, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, New economy, Västra Götaland
The three year old current culture exchange program between the state of Karnataka, India and the region of vastra Gotaland, Sweden has kept developing and does incorporate collaboration in many art and culture fields today.
Nätverkstan was part of the initiating process concerning this collaboration and is still an active actor in Bangalore.
KMV, the film, culture and media production centre based on sociala entrepreneurship in Bergsjön, a suburb in Gothenburg, has since a year back started to cooperate with Nätverkstan and Mediaverkstan.
During the Bangalore International Film Festival a joint seminar by KMV and Nätverkstan was held with Leif Eriksson from Nätverkstan as the key speaker. The seminar, held at the Department of Information in Bangalore, attracted a large audience consisting primarly of youngsters and young women, most of them active as film makers, or studying film and media production in Bangalore.
The seminar emphasized new ways of funding feature film in the ongoing digital paradigm shift as well as a case study on ”Bloody Boys”, the feature film produced by KMV. Topics in the seminar included issues concerning how the film was financed, how amateurs and residents in the suburb collaborated with top actors and crew from the professional part of the swedish film business. An intense discussion was initiated raising questions about filmproduction, social entrepreneurship and media production catalyzing social change.
Another aspect of the discussion also included new ways of nonlinear collaborative postproduction work in the digital flow-work. ”Bloody Boys” was also screened during the fim festival and was sold out on every screening and did receive intense media attention.
Text by Leif Ericsson, film producer and Nätverkstan
The seminar is a cooperation between Nätverkstan and KMV in Bangalore, India. Se more posts here on the exchange in Bangalore.
The Encatc 19th Annual Conference in Helsinki was focusing on the future this year.
”A wind of change is blowing over our societies and reshaping our political, social and cultural paradigms. Increased urbanization, uneven social redistribution, a digital shift and an array of new audiences accessible mainly with the use of new technological tools – these are motors of change which provide as many challenges as they do opportunities.”
In a mix of key note speakers such as Saara L. Tallas, IKEA Professor in Business Studies in School of Business and Design, Linnaeus University (Sweden); Katri Halonen, acting head of degree program in Cultural management at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences; and Lidia Varbanonva, consultant, researcher and lecturer was mixed with intense group discussions on different topics. Encatc thematic areas had workshops within their specific themes as well as room for young researchers and research presentations.
Although the financial crisis hovered above like an evil cloud, optimistic thoughts were exchanged on the future of culture and its possibilities.
Read more of the conference here.
Etiketter:Creative Industries, Creativity, crisis, Cultural economy, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Development, Digitization, Economy, Education, Encatc, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Social entrepreneur
Steve Jobs giving a speech at Stanford University on June 12, 2005, on his life lessons. Three stories from his life; the story of connecting the dots, love and loss, and about death.
Have a look at Steve Jobs speech here.
If you enjoy star-spotting, Göteborg is the place to be in at the moment. The exhibition hall at Svenska Mässan is filled to its rims with well-known authors, writers, journalists, publishing houses, book-stores and others involved the art of words.
The Nordic Book Fair just started, this year with the theme Three countries – one language, that is the german speaking literature is in focus.
Nätverkstan is there with an exhibition place for the over hundred small cultural journals that we work with. This is probably the most important event for these journals. Tonight at a glamorous party at Storan, the Cultural Journal of the Year will be nominated.
”To see how profoundly the book business is changing, watch the shelves”
In the latest issue of Economist (Sept 10th–16th 2011) you can read how digitization is transforming the book industry. What has been known in newspaper and music world since late 1990s is now heading towards publishers. This year sales in the first half of the year of consumer e-books in America overtook those from adult hardback books.
As an example, watch the bookshelves, Economist say. IKEA is introducing a new version of the classic bookshelf ”Billy” next month, a shelf not necessarily for storing books, but a deeper one with glass doors to use for ornaments and other things.
Digitization has given new life to old books. Harlequin has digitized more than 13.000 of its books and the firm has started to publish romances as only e-books. Amazon is selling more copies of e-books than paper books. Digitization has for small publishers showed a way out of the difficulty of managing inventory. If you print too many books, many of them will be returned by stores. Print too few and publishers will get a problem of costing more than it tastes to reprint.
There are two important jobs for publishers:
”They act as the venture capitalists of the words business, advancing money to authors of workthwhile books that might not be written otherwise. And they are editors, picking good books and improving them. So it would be good, not just for their shareholders but also for intellectual life, if they survived”
Nätverkstan has started Samladeskrifter out if these exact ideas: to make small publishers’ and authors’ books available over time and possible to read in different digital formats. It’s both a digital tool for small publishers and authors to make books available on Internet, and a sales window towards the market. Building this has been an interesting roller-coaster ride through a book industry in transformation.
Read more here.
Etiketter:Creative Industries, Cultural Journal, Cultural Project, Development, Digitization, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Flexibility, Literature, New economy, Policy for Global Development, Renewal, Social entrepreneur
On Saturday the 20:th of august Carl Forsberg and Olav Fumarola Unsgaard had a public talk at the city festival of Malmö. The topic was about digital publishing. Our analysis is that we are entering a more complex ecosystem of texts. The traditional printed media is going to be complemented by at least four different types of digital texts:
• The digital book (today usually an E-pug file read in an E-reader)
• The text as an pdf-file
• Texts on the internet (homepages and blogs at the www)
• Applications (small programs read on a smartphone or a tablet computer)
Nätverkstans aim is to help, guide and provide the Swedish journals with guidance and solutions for this complex ecosystem of texts. Our latest project is to develop an iPhone application for the journal Ord&Bild. It is now available for downloading at Apples iTune store: http://itunes.apple.com/se/app/tidskriften-ord-bild/id447773438?mt=8.
The aim of creating this application is that the journals need an application based on their needs and economical conditions. Programming an application is still quite costly and no single Swedish cultural journal has the budget doing it themselves. Our idea is that Nätverkstan can lower the cost for the journals by doing a great part of the development work (if you are interested, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org). The event was visited by 40 persons with quite different knowledge of digital publishing. Some where publishers and some saw an iPad for the first time.
Nätverkstans other work at the festival was mainly concerned about promotion of the different journals. We where present at the café Cacaofoni and at St Petri.
Text: Olav Fumarola Unsgaard
Photo: Helena Persson
Nätverkstan has for some time worked on a Eurozine application for iPhone and iPad. For this project we have developed a cooperation with partners in Bangalore, a newly formed company which, inspired by our profile, decided to name their enterprise Namnätverkstan.
The 23rd conference of the Eurozine network, 13-16 of May in Linz, Austria, was organized under the theme Changing media – Media in change. For this conference, representatives of both Nätverkstan (David Karlsson and myself) and Namnätverkstan (Anand Varadaraj) were invited to present our results so far. We were given the opportunity to take part in a panel discussion with Simon Worthington, editor of Mute magazine, and moderated by the editor in chief of Eurozine, Carl Henrik Fredriksson. It felt really rewarding to present the audience, some of Europe’s most distinguished editors of culture journals, with a fully working iOS application that could be viewed both through simulator on a large projector screen and hands on, on our devices. We also gave a quick overview on how to work our online backend with wysiwyg editor. It became very apparent that many of the journals were interested in the project.
However, even if the presentation was a major milestone for us who have been involved in the project, our workshop was only a small part of the immensly interesting conference programme. The opening speech by Khaled Hroub, on one of the mega stories of 2011: The arab spring, really set the tone for the rest of the days. His reflections on the demographic and social changes in the arab countries for the last decades and his thoughts on the impact of both Al-Jazeera and social media in the current situation were also complemented the following day by the statement:
”The Facebook revolution or the WikiLeaks revolution is a colonial fantasy, a narcissit projection of the West”.
This viewpoint was certainly not left uncontested in the vivid talks the were held in and around the seminars.
And so we discussed, debated and dined through three days of conference – professionally organzied by the Eurozine administration, generously hosted by the Lentos art museum and Linz municipality. It is hard to imagine a better crowd to give response to our endeveours in the publishing field. We have strong hopes for a continued fruitful cooperation.
Text: Carl Forsberg, manager of Mediaverkstäderna (Medialabs) at Nätverkstan.
Read a note in the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet about the app development at Nätverkstan here.
In the middle of the Theatre District, on the tenth floor on 35th Street on Manhattan you find Fractured Atlas, a business service organization for artists. For a service organization, it is well hidden from visitors. For obvious reasons, it shows. Fractured Atlas is solely an online tool and service for artists; a virtual meeting place and service provider.
It started off in 1998 as a performing arts producer in downtown New York City and they worked with theatre companies, choreographers, musicians, and performance artists. In 2002, they reinvented themselves as a service organization with the aim of impacting a wider segment of the arts community.
They have around 16.000 members, artists around the US, with a majority of members in New York State and California. They help artists within all art forms with what they need most in the US: Health Insurance Program and Fiscal Sponsorship.
Alongside these two flagships, Fractured Atlas also provide technological solutions for networking and calendar of events; matchmaking of free studio spaces; cultural asset map that collects data of cultural activity in an area, and other useful information.
This non-profit organization is completely internet-based with the aim of having all useful information online in a system easy to learn for the members. You can take easy step-to-step courses in what to think of when freelancing or running an organization, or apply to the Health Insurance Program and use the other services on your own wherever you are situated.
It is virtual service centre, focusing on what they think artists need most in form of insurance and sponsorship, and do not work with entrepreneurship. Instead, others do this like for example the incubator in San Francisco; Intersection for the Arts (look in the end of this post for a link to the visit Nätverkstan did in 2007).
Adam Natale, Director of Partnerships and Business Development, says there is a need, though, to build more knowledge at art schools and universities of entrepreneurship.
The little state funding that has been available in the US is declining and there are many examples of what being too dependent on grants and sponsorship from foundations could mean. The latest example being the old theatre in Seattle, Intiman Theatre, having to lay off all staff and close down during the rest of 2011 to try to get finances right.
The tradition among artists, at least within the performing arts, is to become a non-profit organization. Many artists are thinking of them as a charity and ask for grants. Even though Fractured Atlas offer an umbrella fiscal solution for these organizations, a legal and financial system by which a legally recognized public charity can apply for grants and receive tax-deductible contributions, this is not enough.
The troubles for Intiman Theatre are not only due to declining grants from foundations, but also to ”management missteps” as you can read in an article in The Seattle Times (November 12, 2010). It is, though, Adam Natale says, an example of the vulnerability for many theatres in the US depending on grants as their main stream of income.
Read about the Nätverkstan visit to Intersection of the Arts here.
The second day in Bangalore started with a meeting with Shyamal Mehta, one of the co-founders of TechJini, a company with a very impressive track record when it comes to mobile applications. He showed us no less than 25 iPhone applications, ranging from business and travel to news and games applications, many of them built for foreign companies.
TechJini could absolutely be interesting for us, since they already built a store front for an American childrens book publisher, including inbuilt reader. They have also built store fronts for OEMs.
The third day we met with Zunaa, a relatively new company, only five months old but already having eight people employed and currently hiring four more. The shared offices, and some services, with a few other companies, among them an online advertising agency, in a very posh building. The attitude here was more laid back and in some ways more like home. Perhaps it is a telling sign that Zunaa’s flagship application is the popular Indian game Tiger and Goat, available in Apple’s app store for two dollars. But they have also developed a blog service, connected to the users google account, Voar.
The mobile application development branch is practically exploding in Bangalore. On the fourth day we attended the Mobile developer conference, arranged by Silicon India. The conference was unfortunately sponsored by Nokia, a very evident fact that nobody could miss. As an example, one of the keynotes turned into a product presentation for Nokia’s latest line of communicators. That was actually quite hilarious, as the keynote speaker asked the audience if any of them had owned a Nokia communicator. About half of them raised their hands. Impressed, the keynote speaker asked them how many enjoyed the experience. Nobody raised their hands, not a single one. People started laughing about the situation.
But the first four keynotes and the following panel debate were very interesting and gave a good perspective of the present mobile application market and what to expect form the future. Some important topics that were raised:
- Cross platform compatibility. The situation here seems much more diversified than in Sweden, with no OEM dominating. Having your application ported to several operating systems becomes more important.
- UI/UX. The market is evolving and the user interface and experience is now as important as the functions of the application.
- Business models are changing every 12 months.
- The life span of an application before it needs major function and/or UI updates is 3-5 months.
- Few mobile application development companies have the stamina to stay in the business after the first critical 12 – 18 months.
For the future we can expect applications that takes advantage of the mobile handsets inbuilt core technology, like sensors, gyroscope and GPS. We will probably see more kinds of sensors in the phones. Locality seems to be a trend and we should probably expect more location based ads, as well as a development of money transfer functions beyond mobile banking.
The conference was filled to the last seat with mostly young developers. Unfortunately, and probably due to Nokia’s sponsorship, the sections dealing with iOS and Android development very much smaller than the one dealing with QT, Nokia’s newly acquired cross-platform application framework. Although we had registered late and paid the 500 Rs entrance fee online just the night before, we managed to sneak into the iOS section after some haggling.
The keynote there was very basic in nature, an in itself interesting fact. Apparently, judging from the following questions, many developers had come there almost as a sort of extra curricular activity. That really shows the hunger for knowledge within the development sector here in Bangalore. We couldn’t help wonder how many Swedish engineer students that would take their Saturday off school to attend a full day, paid conference – sharing knowledge they really should be getting as a part of their education.
Outside the iOS auditorium we met Indpro, a Swedish mobile application development company, based in Bangalore since the last 3 years. This is probably becoming more and more common, as many customers in the field of applications already are foreign companies. For long time relations, it makes sense to establish a local presence or partnership, just like Nätverkstan are doing with NamNätverkstan.
The night before the conference, we had updated our project specification and took the chance to discuss it with some of the attending developers. Many were interested but very few seemed skilled enough to make serious offers. At the end of the day it was still a very worthwhile experience for us, to be hurdled directly into the epicentre of Bangalore’s emerging mobile application development scene and to learn more about the challenges it’s facing, and what the market looks like.
Text: Carl Forsberg, Nätverkstan
It may sound like a futuristic, or even slightly crazy project, to travel from Gothenburg to Bangalore in search of a developer that could build a framework iPhone application, a white label, for Swedish cultural journals. But we did it anyway.
Nätverkstan has been providing services like accounting and distribution to cultural journals for over a decade. We were among the first organizations in the cultural sector in Sweden to host our own web server and we have always tried to use new technology to empower the small-scale publisher. It is about time we find a way to get the cultural journals their own applications. And we need to find the right solutions, cheap but still meaningful and user friendly.
Why Bangalore? Are there really no able developers in Sweden? Of course there are, and we have talked to some of them. And we have learnt a lot, especially by hosting our own online bookstore, Samlade skrifter. But through Västra Götaland’s strategic cooperation with the Karnataka region, we have been able to assist in the development of our first international subsidiary company, NamNätverkstan, based in Bangalore. It is our aspiration that the project to develop applications for Swedish cultural magazines could be our first cooperation. Our colleague in Bangalore, Anand Varadaraj, has been immensely helpful in setting up meetings.
And it was in Bangalore that the IT-revolution really started in the 80s. Try googling Infosys, if you haven’t already heard of them. In every nook and corner of Bangalore, young engineers, many of whom started their career at Infosys, now emerge as entrepreneurs of their own. Many of them work in the explosive mobile sector. For an organization looking to learn more of mobile applications and to develop for their clients, like us, it feels like coming home.
After an early morning arrival, some hours of sleep and a late breakfast, we set of to our first meeting with a company, Mobisy. From what we could learn from their website they had developed a really interesting platform called Mobitop, enabling them to port standard web development script languages to all the major mobile platforms. Impressive indeed! We were equally impressed with their young CEO Lalit, who immediately understood our needs and raised a few interesting questions of usage and further development.
To be continued…
Text: Carl Forsberg, Nätverkstan
I was invited by The Goethe Institute. They have arranged a trip for journalists, publishers and other persons connected to the publishing world. Our group was a very international with guests from Pakistan, Palestine, Ukraine, Malta, Qatar, Tajikistan, Myanmar and Norway. The persons in the group were very interesting and we learned a lot from each other. With a little bit of luck there will be some cooperations in the future. Nätverkstanwise my main task for this trip was to look at the current debate about the digitization of the bookworld. Some conclusions:
Digitization is here.
It was the main topic of many, many discussions. At the fair they had a special subfair about digitization. It was called Hot Spots and the main theme had the title “Where Content meets Technology”. Before the fair actually started there was a conference in cooperation with O’Reilly media and their annual conference Tools Of Change. The programme was very impressive and many of the discussions where spot on for the Swedish debate.
Two years ahead of Sweden.
The international (mainly the US) development in the book market is two years ahead of Sweden. Here can you have a look at the changing consumer patterns, new devices and other future trends. This does not mean that what’s happening in the US will happen here, but it will give you some indications. The figure about actually selling e-books was probably the most interesting. The expectation for the US Christmas market is that e- books will have a market share of 12% of all sold books. And it’s increasing. The reason is simple: Reading devices.
Ipad is still #1.
At one of the Hot- spots there where an exhibition of reading devices. For a tech- geek it was like Christmas. Many Korean and Chinese companies showed their latest products. Sadly enough they where not so impressive. The Ipad is still #1 in each and every way.
Magazines/ journals for the iPad
This morning my wife woke me up with the question: Do you want the morning paper or the iPad? Of course I wanted them both. But this will not be the question in the years to come. At this year Frankfurt Book fair many of Germanys leading morning papers had iPads at their stand. The result wasn’t too impressive. My main conclusion is that they have not used this new format enough. It’s still the traditional morning paper, but on a led screen. But to be fair, the iPad was released April this year. The future is here, but the very interesting is still yet to come.
But what about the books?
Jonathan Franzen. Freedom was the major book on this fair. After reading the first 200 pages I must say: Believe the hype. It’s like the film American Beauty, but on acid. It has everything that made The Corrections one of my favourite novels. But Franzen is few years older and a more mature writer.
Trends/ hype. The next big thing after Stephanie Myers Twilight epos is “Vampire erotic with sex”. When Myers is a little bit puritanical, the next writers in this genre are not.
But my best buy at this book fair was made outside the gates. Our guide Stefan took us to a small antique bookshop in the centre of Frankfurt. There I bought a signed copy of Theodor W. Adornos Zur Metakritik der Erkenntnistheorie. Studien über Husserl und die phänomenologischen Antinomien. Thank you Stefan for showing me the long tail!
Text & photo: Olav Fumarola Unsgaard
When we first talked about inviting Google to a seminar in Göteborg, people, not the least from the publishing houses, saw red. Why in the world would we invite someone who is ruthlessly digitizing literature without proper concern of the public domain?
Santiago de la Mora, Head of books and libraries at Google in Europe, had his message clear. It’s the user who decides the need for Google and its products. There are today 1,8 billion Internet users, he says, where Google want to reach more readers, more revenue and engagement in Internet. Reading habits have changed since the introduction of the web, from the printed newspaper reading from cover to cover to more individual articles on specific topics. It’s a browsing mentality and more scattered reading. The user has a choice, the representative from the absolute biggest search engine on Internet emphasizes. You can choose other search engines if you would like. For Google the foremost goal is the user experience and for example the thought that you should be able to read books anywhere at anytime. ”It’s an enabler, not something instead of”, says de la Mora.
The informal motto for the company is ”don’t be evil”, which implies that they could be evil but decide not to, moderator Mikael Löfgren pointed out with the question: ”What is it that you are not doing that could be evil?” Answering this question as for others of that caliber, Santiago de la Mora was vague. That was neither surprising, nor the most important with the afternoon.
The five-headed panel of experts from the fields of publishing, journalism, library, European cultural journals, and archives, reflected on the presentation by Google, making several interesting points and posed some crucial questions:
”The dichotomy is not between digitization or printed texts, it’s about how to finance quality content in the future?”
”The state and the public domain have not taken their responsibilities in dealing with digitization. This has left the floor free for other innovative solutions like Google”
”Make a national all-inclusive cultural policy for digital times. We have to stop talk about preventing or compensating.”
”What do an open democratic society want to promote concerning digitization?”
Perhaps it was not a surprise that publishers were not present in the audience. Also politicians were glowing with their non-presence, except for two parties (m) and (fp). But it was a mistake. It’s obvious that the politicians have to lift the discussion to include the democratic and public domain view into digitization discussions, not only copyright laws, something it seems to be little awareness of. And the publishers have to dare to look this new threat to their traditional business models in the eye and start thinking of new ways to continue publish books. This seminar provided that opportunity.
The seminar was arranged by Göteborg Book Fair and Nätverkstan, together with Stampen, Göteborg&Co, Västra Götaland and Stiftelsen Framtidens kultur. It’s part of two conferences on this theme, the other one can be found here. Mikael Löfgren has written a report to introduce the topic (in Swedish) found at samladeskrifter.se.
As one of more than thousand developers from all over the world that attend the Filemaker annual conference I can choose between over 80 sessions in little more than three days. Unfortunately I can´t attend every session I find interesting; there are just too many going on at the same time. Today at nine, just after breakfast, I have to decide whether to attend a session named Improve Quality, Reuse Code, and Program Efficiently or another named Speaking the Same Language. Understanding Your Client and Helping Them Understand You. Two very interesting topics but I have to choose one before the other. The first one is compelling but the second is more what I need, to be honest.
The main theme this year Connect with your world is well mirrored in the schedule and you find sessions on PHP, SQL and ESS but, again, Filemaker Go is the talk of the day. With Filemaker Go on an iPhone or iPad you can reach your Filemaker solutions from any place but the office. That makes sense. I bought an iPad and I am impressed. It’s way better than I expected it to be. In Sweden you have to wait until fall to get a piece but when it comes it will be a big hit. I am Sure!
I attended a very scary session called File Maintenance and recovery: tools and Best Practices. The speaker was Alexei Folger and she was awesome. Really bad stuff can happen with files but there are some good techniques and strategies to prevent a disaster. But it was a bit creapy to here in a theatrical voice ”…and then you are in big trouble!”
Devcon is an International conference with developers from different parts of the world but the typical attendee is American, actually. At least you can say it’s an Anglo Saxon world. I have seen or talked to people from Britain, Australia and New Zeaand but not from the Latin world or Asia. There is a lot of attendees from Japan.
Its´s striking how big Filemaker is in the US. I learnt that Filemaker is used in schools, universities, really big coorporations and in govermental offices. On a high percentage.
Tonight we enjoyed a dinner at the USS Midway in the San Diego Harbor. The ship was on duty as late as in the Dessert Storm. Dinner was served on the actual flight deck and during the Californian sunset we listening to live music zipping a drink or could hear docents telling stories how it was once up on the time… One of the best moments so far.
This morning I finally got my suitcase from the airport. It was lost in Frankfurt during the stop over and I had to buy new clothes every day while waiting for the trunk to arrive to my hotel. The downtown hotel, by the way, is something extra. Its very old with an interior like those in a horror movie but with a very helpful staff.
To morrow is my last day in San Diego!
Written by Christian Stensöta
Christian Stensöta is a colleague at Nätverkstan in charge of database and Filemaker solutions for the cultural and civil society field. He is visiting the Filemaker Development Conference 2010 in San Diego, USA, August 15-18.
Horton Grand Hotel:
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