In this episode we cover a schism in digital media that traditional publishing has unwittingly played into.
Baldur explains what it is that makes people the most angry at him. Moonshots versus Infrastructure. Digital media Reaganomics Brute force effort versus building automation Baldur agrees with a Nazi (von Braun). Changes require infrastructure. Trickle-down economics don’t build roads. Without open source and open standards we’d still be stuck in the CD-ROM model. Paradigm clashes are messy. Touchpress. Editions at Play. Creative people doing clever things. Reviewing the story, not the innovation. On not releasing the APIs. Preventing people from copying or building on Edition at Play. The danger of building one-off infrastructure replacements. Disposable scaffolding versus roads and waterworks. Praise for Inkle. Praise for FailBetter/FundBetter. Hybrid models are possible if infrastructure is the end goal. Baldur’s problem with Readium. What does this dichotomy mean for publishers? What is a publisher in print? What is a publisher in digital? End-to-end integration is very hard to pull off in digital. Choose a focus: author or audiences. Audience aggregators versus production aggregators. Publishers act as if authors were completely fungible. Foundation labour in publishing is brittle. Using Unbound as a case study: a social capital converter. Trade publishers don’t have that clarity yet. The two potential models. Authors, unfortunately, need social capital. The obligatory Craig Mod reference. Create a clear value proposition for either the author or the audience. Patreon as premium LiveJournal communities. Why it is big and getting bigger. Baldur forgot Erika Moen’s name despite reading her work for over a decade. Patreon as a pure audience aggregator that’s agnostic about the content format. Disconnecting the business model from the production model results in creative freedom. Bolting book retail model on web artefacts. Subscription requires a clear and concrete value proposition. How do you get to the point where you’re covering your costs? Patreon only works if you do like Dave Sim did with Cerebus: deliver on your promises, consistently and reliably. (All of Dave Sim’s other weirdnesses are decidedly optional.) The ‘Print is Great’ worldview hinders all digital efforts. How Baldur could fund the purchase of the cheapest iPad Mini. ‘Toxic’ is relative. Amazon’s asymmetric bet with the Kindle. Print is viable in the long term, just not interesting to Baldur.
Warning! Contains ums, aws, and wobbly arguments.
Play the episode in your browserYour browser does not support the audio element. Download episode nine Subscribe to the podcast feed directly Or on iTunes And, finally, on Overcast
This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).