Saturday, December 21, 2013

Solving the Wikipedia problem

Today I was reading an AMA discussion on reddit from a Wikipedia admin. Much of the conversation centered around either delitionism (editors and admins on Wikipedia who want to delete lots of pages that they don't consider important) or the creeping vandalism of special interests. I've long thought that both problems could be solved by creating a new service to replace Wikipedia, so let me put my thoughts down in writing.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Copyright again: 15 years may be the sweet spot

It's worth watching this video in general, but I've linked to a specific point (if the video doesn't start at 16:24, then skip forward to there) where they present some really surprising data: in general, book publishers stop publishing books after between 10 and 20 years. What this means is that if you want to find a book published 20-40 years ago, you're probably not going to find it unless it's one of the few books that either was made into a movie or is required for some college coursework. Want to find William Gibson's Johnny Mnemonic? Sure, that had some big budget actors in the film adaptation, but Connie Willis's Fire Watch? Yeah so, how about a Kindle version? And that's the lucky ones that are available as ebooks! Many are simply lost.