Archive för Long Tail

Newsweek’s last issue

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.

2 januari, 2013

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Book industry in transformation

”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.

17 september, 2011

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Digital Publishing at Malmöfestivalen

dam_m_paddaOn 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: support@samladeskrifter.se). 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

23 augusti, 2011

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The Future of Culture – Creative commonage and commercial desert?

The discussion on the consequences of digitalization for example music, film, literature, cultural journals is like an undulating ocean. It goes up and down but never stops its movement. Each of the Art forms has their own discussion.

Publishing houses were horrified of Google, the scanning of literature to make the first gigantic digital library. The Google deals made publishing houses furious and should these be signed or not? Did they have a choice? Are they mainly worried of the payment to the author or of their own position?

Music has fought fiercly against free downloading. In Sweden the new Ipred law aim to hunt those down that download for free. What does new business models look like on the Internet that make music available and the user pay for it? Examples like Spotify has grown up as new initiatives. Film is the same. Free downloading or sites like youtube, where films are uploaded to be viewed by anyone, is a big concern. The quality in screening is not good, but it’s for free. Chris Anderson says in his new book ”Free” that with Internet everything goes towards zero in costs. The business model, or how to earn money, will look very different in the future.

And what happens to the Artists? In the end, as most of the time, they are without income. Perhaps this development could actually be positive for the single Artist as money and power of distribution will be in the hands of the producer?

There are many questions and processes overlapping and crossing each other. The different industries; film, music, publishing worry about their future. But stay within their own field. Very few in Sweden have tried to get an overview, looked across the different specific fields to see the larger trend. This is the ambition in the pre-study done by Mikael Löfgren, Swedish Cultural Journalist, in cooperation with colleagues at Nätverkstan this coming fall. The study is funded by The Foundation for the Culture of the Future. Hopefully it will be the beginning of a learning process ending with a large Hearing in Göteborg where these issues will be discussed.

2 september, 2009

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Summer reading

The pile of books this summer is growing. There is so much to read! Here, some old and new books on cultural and creative industries, artistic practice and economy, cultural policy, situation for Art and Artists, black identity and post-colonial analysis, the new global and Free market and so forth.

Bill Ivey, ”Arts, inc. How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights” (University of California Press 2008). Bill Ivey was Chairman of National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) in USA 1998-2001, and is now founding director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. Interesting about Bill Ivey’s experience as Chairman of NEA and how Art and Artists enrich our lives, but where neglect from the governement as well as the market is endangering the future.

David Throsby, ”Economics and Culture” (Cambridge University Press 2001).David Throsby is Professor of Econimcs at Macquarie University in Australia. The book behind the circle-model put forward by Department of Culture, Media and Sports in UK in 2007 (look at this post) is this one, and with very well analysed material on the two grand entities: Economics and Culture.

Daniel H. Pink, ”A whole new mind. Why right-brainers will rule the future” (Penguin Group 2006). For a review read the one by Associate Professor Lane B Mills at East Carolina University. Daniel H Pink has written several books on the changes of work in the world, where this one focus on the rise of right-brain thinking in modern economics. The book has inspired many, and was recommended by Sian Prime as a source for inspiration for the models used at the Creative Pioneer Programme at Nesta in UK (read the following interview with Sian Prime from 2006).

Steven J. Tepper and Bill Ivey, ”Engaging Art. The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life” (Taylor & Francis Group 2008). Seems in line with the above mentioned topics.

Chris Anderson, ”Free. The future of a radical price” (Hyperion 2009). The editor in chief of Wired Magazine and author of ”The Long Tail”, about the change of market in a globalized world, how an online market creates niche markets and – the topic of this new book – how prices online tend to reach zero which forces a new line of thinking on products and what is a sellable product.

Franz Fanon, ”Black Skin, White Masks” (Grove Press Inc 1967). Franz Fanon was born in Martinique in 1925, studied medicine in France, specialized in psychatry and wrote several books on the African struggle for liberation. The book was first published in 1952.

4 augusti, 2009

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Eurozine 2009, 8-11 may 2009. Vilnius, Lithuania

During 4 days one of Europe’s most vibrant and intellectual vital networks met. Eurozine is a network of European cultural journals, linking up 70 partner journals and just as many associated magazines and institutions from nearly all European countries. Eurozine is also a netmagazine which publishes outstanding articles from its partner journals with additional translations into one of the major European languages. The theme this year was European histories. As described in the conference- reader:

Under the heading ”European Histories”, this year’s Eurozine conference will explore the role of history and memory in forming new identities in a Europe in change.

Throughout Europe, history is ceasing to be something for historians alone. Instead, it is becoming both a public issue and an instrument of politics. In the West, this progression can be traced from the wilful amnesia of the postwar years, through the mission of the ’68 generation to make the previous generation accountable for its crimes, to the obsession with history of the last two decades. In the East, the imposed history of the liberation has given way to the liberation of history. Nevertheless, highly different ”commemorative cultures”have formed and the comfortable historical consensus long obtained within and among western European countries has been undermined by the eastern enlargement.

Europeans are still far from an all-embracing ”grand narrative”, assuming this is worth striving for at all. But much would undoubtedly be gained by discussing the existing plurality of narratives in a shared space transcending national boundaries. The Vilnius meeting will provide the opportunity for such a debate.

Twenty years after 1989, the conference will also take stock of the dramatic developments since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Meanwhile, most former communist states in central and eastern Europe are members of the EU; others are waiting in line. But the transition from closed to open societies is far from over. Fierce debates on lustration and information surfacing from previously closed archives show that, today, 1989 represents not only an historic moment of liberation but also a political and social dilemma.

The discussions and panels this year where of highest intellectual level possible. The subjects where well chosen and sometimes very provocative and mind-bending. The speakers includes Timothy Snyder, Arne Ruth, Leonidas Donskis, Thorsten Schilling, Martin Simecka, Mircea Vasilescu, Irena Veisaite, Zinovy Zinik and Marci Shore. The Eurozine network is one of very few situations where east and west meet on equal level. We are trying to learn how a common Europe is possible and how we can create a real dialogue where we can speak on equal terms. We may not agree on the agenda, the topics or the war on Iraq- but without Eurozine this discussion never would have taken place. Best regards and very large Thank you to Kulturos Barai, Vilnius Capital of Culture 2009 and foremost the crew at the Eurozine office.

Links:
http://www.eurozine.com
A very interesting article by Timothy Snyder:
http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2005-05-03-snyder-en.html

Written by Olav Unsgaard, Manager at Nätverkstan.

prespalatsetcec-arnekulturministern

14 maj, 2009

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Long Live Localism!

The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) is a trade organization dedicated to supporting, nurturing and promoting independent retail bookselling in California. With over 500 members, including nearly 300 booksellers, the NCIBA has been an experienced provider of services for over two decades.

Hut Landon, Executive Director, walks us through the domains of – among others – George Lucas (passing by the Yoda-fountain) to their office in San Francisco. The association is led by a 15-person Bord of Directors, and their main task is to increase the sales for independent bookshops in northern California.

The competition from Internet selling has led to the fact that independent bookshops must be much more proactive in their way of marketing themselves. Localism has become a watchword; people must become aware of the importance of supporting their community stores, if they want a  lively and prosperous neighbourhood. To explain this to the customers, Landon and his staff has made the poster ”Eight great reasons to shop at locally-owned businesses” (http://www.nciba.com/dls/8-great-reasons.pdf), which is now available to all NCIBA-members.

Apart from this, the association also arranges the NCIBA Trade how, produces the Holiday Showcase (yearly catalogue which features new titles), sets together workshops with topics of concern to the members and prints a weekly regional bestseller list.

Landon makes it clear that NCIBA does not regard the big chains, like Borders and Barnes & Noble, as competition. Independent booksellers have something that the big stores may lack: great book-knowledge, devotion and close relations with their customers. Amazon though, constitutes a big threat. The future will tell if David will stand a chance against Goliath, in Californa as well as in Sweden.

Books Inc. in Van Ness St. Sheryl Cotleur, Buying Director, BookPassage Hut Landon, Executive Director, NCIBA Street of San Francisco City Lights Golden Gate Bridge Lilla Gilbrech Weinberger, Readers' Books, Sonoma Wall Painting in Castro Another one + flying books From Natverkstan - Marie & Karin

Written by Karin Lundgren and Marie Johansson, Managers at Natverkstan.

11 maj, 2009

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Independent Bookselling – Will it Survive?

Michael Tucker, president of Independent Booksellers, Books Inc., really believes that there is a future even for the smaller, independent bookstores. That is if they are willing and capable of adjusting to the fast changing conditions of today.

The reason for going to San Francisco, when Svensk Bokhandel decided to arrange a trip for Swedish booksellers, is that this area has met up the challenge from the Internet bookshopping. Books Inc., with 10 stores and more that 200 employees, serves as a shining example that independent bookselling can not only survive, but also prosper – even if they ”must dance among the elephants”. However, the elephants set the rules and the best you can do is being as flexible and innovative as possible.

Kitty Clark, manager at Books Inc., Vann Ness Ave., lets us in on her recipe for creating a successful bookstore: Focus on customer service – by engaged and trusted employees – make sure that the interior and selection appeal to your clientele, arrange author events, book clubs, book launch parties, seminars led by writers etc etc.

During our tour to four of Tuckers’s stores we could see exactly what she ment; they were all Books Inc. shops, but completely different. Neither orientation, nor design, looked the same in any of the places. It’s all about fitting into the context. Tucker also stressed the importence of events. Even if you have the most amazing store, you can not be sure that the books alone will stand the competition from the Internet commerce. You need something that makes you special, something the digital world lack. Above all, that’s eye to eye contact and interaction.

Can these advice be applicated to the Swedish independent book stores? Surely, the conditions are in many ways quite different, but here’s defenitely every reason to be inspired by the Book Inc., and the San Francicso way of finding ways to reinvent the traditional book shop.

Written by KarinLundgren and Marie Johansson, Managers at Natverkstan.

10 maj, 2009

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Deserted places and creative destruction

Jan Jörnmark looks at his photos projected on the wall and seems still amazed of what happened. Around thirty people are sitting in the room, waiting for him to continue. ”I am an Associate Professor in Economic History at Göteborg University, I have written many books during my time, piled in heaps in the caches of the University – no-one reads them” he tells us with a warm Karlstad dialect. And he looks at the photos again and laughs. ”And then I started this project….”.

He was interested in deserted places; houses, areas, businesses, places that told a story, that had once been full of activity and was now, due to circumstances and changes in society, deserted. He started photographing these places. The photos show destruction, there is a feeling of abandonment around them, faded glory of once prosperous businesses and activities.

Capitalism is in constant change. Something is destructed, something else created, he tells us. If you don’t add new value to things, they will loose what was once valuable and be destroyed. There is an enormous demand for cultural value and therefore also a potential in adding this to old things to get something new. Jörnmark’s project is a typical project created in the new globalized economy. He started a website where he put all his photos. The interest was enormous. Around 20.000 visitors each month, comments of around 300. It’s the logic described by Chris Anderson, the Editor of Wired that described the new economy in globalized society in the book The Long Tail a few years ago. Internet is free. Money will not be made in traditional ways, instead Internet create new businesses and new products. For Jörnmark the product was the book he produced of all the photos he put on the website (where you find them free of charge). One book has become two books, which have been read and sold in masses. Many lectures and exhibitions have been held. A new book is on its way. Money is made. Sub cultures have been created around the project. It’s a success story that surprises him so much, that he still, even after a few years, is amazed of what happened.

Jan Jörnmark was one of several interesting speakers on the seminar this weekend (20-21 of March) at Jonsered Herrgård outside Göteborg, held by the Foundation for the Future of Cultures (Stiftelsen framtidens kultur) and Lokal Kultur on the topic ”Creative Industries and Involuntary Entrepreneurs”. For the programme, look at this post. Nätverkstan is working on a project based on the ideas of the Long Tail, have a look here.

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22 mars, 2009

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Nätverkstan takes on the project ”The long tail”

Today Nätverkstan stock and distribute cultural journals. In recent years we have also received inquiries by a number of publishers to be able to offer this service also to books as well as journals. After some research we came in contact with Chris Anderson’s book ”The long tail”. Book distribution today, in Sweden and elsewhere, is based on the assumption that dealers sell many copies of a book, the hits, while the smaller publishers’ titles are difficult to find. Stocks are expensive; it is costly to be included in the large networks of book distribution, affecting the availability of the more uncommon titles. The same applies to old issues of journals that have long timelines and worth reading years later. The long tail is based on the economy in even small and odd titles if you find new solutions for these to img_0094.JPGimg_0090.JPGbe distributed. Nätverkstan wrote an application to the Framtidens kultur foundation gratifying enough granted. Now the project is on the run with Olav Fumarola Unsgaard as projectmanager. Operations are planned to become an integral part of Nätek whith mainly Camilla Anemyr and Karin Lundgren working on the project. To our help, we also have David Karlsson.

In the spring we will offer journals a model and a specification for how they should do to be sold on internet bookstores. There have been a number of practical and procedural obstacles in the way of this but we hope that all will soon be allayed. In the spring we will also build a system and a warehouse where the publishers are to be included. The activities that we intend to build will be focused on internet bookstores requirements of speed and good logistics. This ensures that we unfortunately see a development where most narrow titles not even enter the large booksellers. We also intend to work up a partnership with one of the main print on demand providers to offer both physical and digital storage.

This activity is against the micro, small and medium-sized publishers and cultural journals. Please contact olav.unsgaard @ natverkstan.net to learn more about the project.

Written by Olav Fumarola Unsgaard

25 februari, 2009

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New ideas

On the website ted.com you find ”Ideas worth spreading”, a collection of inspiring talks from of all sorts of people and celebrities; speakers that talk about everything from the story of the long tail, design as art, digging for ants, health-care issues, the new generation of African leaders, climate changes, the building of US design firm IDEO and many other things.

On links below you find for example Charles Leadbeater, researcher from London-based think tank Demos; David Kelley, who started the Design firm IDEO; and Chris Anderson, editor of Wired and author of the book ”The Long Tail”.

David Kelley

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/122

Charles Leadbeater

http://www.ted.com/index.php/speakers/view/id/60

Chris Anderson

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/72

www.ted.com

25 april, 2008

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Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

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