Thursday, February 17, 2011

Intelligent Content, A Three Hour Tour. Or, What Content would you want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

Wednesday, Sessions for Intelligent Content 2011 started with an intro from IC guru, Ann Rockley. She defined Intelligent content and what makes content truly intelligent; it is highly structured and semantically tagged. She provided a disclaimer up front. The 1.5 hours that she spoke in the morning session would be attempting to get a high level overview of the 3 day session that she normally undertake with a client looking to assess their organization for the move to intelligent content. The summation of her remarks is simple: Analyze, Model, and Structure.

But what does this mean? What is the business case? Where is the ROI? My mind hooked on one specific story that Ann shared about a client who did a review of their content back in 2001. Actually, September 11th, 2001. Bad timing. When the world changed, their focus changed and they determined that they could not afford to implement Intelligent Content at that time. Within a few years, a discrepancy in the content that was delivered to customers and content distributed to vendors resulted in a customer injury and a multimillion dollar lawsuit. They lost. The application of Intelligent Content could have saved this company the trouble.

Well implemented IC ensures consistency through automatic reuse. This kind of reuse allows for a change once, populate everywhere editing model. This helps highly timely content stay timely, relevant and accurate. If you are delivering this kind of content you need Intelligent Content methodologies.

One thing that is obvious is that the idea of Intelligent Content engages a lot of variable environments. There is no one size fits all solution. Ann’s talk dealt with how companies can approach their content and figure out what they need, what they have time and money to achieve, and how to overcome objections and get it done.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Intelligent Content - 2011

At Intelligent Content 2011, In Palm Springs, CA. Today has been an exciting experience of exploring the use of emerging technologies, from Content Authoring to Social Media. I will have more to share this afternoon. Back to blogging.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Social Networks - How do you use your profiles?

Someone recently posed an interesting question in one of my online communities:

Do you participate in more than one social media site? Do you use one for business and another for personal discussions?
I find myself editing the slap happy nature of my comments on Linked In slightly more than my Face Book side...ok, a lot more. I don’t usually tell my Linked In posse about how I had to fire the lady I was using for waxing my mustache because she seemed all too happy when I would squeal - it’s good to enjoy your work, just not that much. And I try not to bore my FB friends with details about how the future of data storage is filled with Petabytes of data that must be mined and culled for what represent actual value and what is just unnecessary filler… how the data monster will soon begin swallowing us all. How much of your day do you spend creating value and how much time just managing past value? Blah Blah…followed by diatribe. As for the fundamental piece of me that is me, my voice when I write… I carry that wherever I go, and hopefully don’t offend too many people along the way.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Is The Long Tail Wagging the Dog Yet?

The following piece was contributed by David Coté, one of the co-founders of DPPstore's parent company, DigitalPulp Publishing, and a lifelong entrepenur. Enjoy!

in the press about EBooks is often depressing. But then reading in the press about the press is depressing. Warren Buffet sees newspapers as in decline… The news of the day is that our news is not good - but wait, there is a flash of light. Somewhere out there in the blog-fog is an illuminating piece of information if only we could find it.

Eating your Bagel and spilling your coffee on the newspaper is not quite a thing of the past yet but it may soon come to pass that paper is replaced by words served up on digital displays. I dismissed the NY Times in less than a minute today and the Washington Post took less than five. Soon being a relative term, of course no one can accurately predict the future from where we stand. But some things are clearly more certain than others. “The sun will come up tomorrow,” in the immortal words of Little Orphan Annie. “Until it doesn’t anymore,” says the pessimist.

Organizing ideas and making them accessible are the main functions of newspapers and libraries. Some functional replacement for either of them will have to come along before they disappear. The internet is a great big mass of data, some organization will have to happen eventually. The real question for those of us who care is what form it will take.

Libraries may be an idea past its prime if I am reading Peter Brandt’s words accurately. Where will the repositories exist if Google fails in its effort to digitize and store everything? That digitization project will almost certainly fall short. I have watched as the Library of Congress shrunk to the size of a room and then to the size of a briefcase. It is not yet quite down to being written on the head of a pin but volumes can dance there now. Still the information repositories of the future will be different but no less necessary.

Selling the newspapers short may be a good idea for right now. But how long will it take for the bears to eat all the value in that industry? Will they leave the residue somewhere out in the woods with all the newsprint trees that are worth more for their fixed carbon than their fiber tomorrow? Does a bear really s___ in the woods? Not if they have an office on Wall Street.

Back to the future, only a crazy entrepreneur could think this thought, but isn’t some of this change fraught with opportunity? Aren’t the new ways of doing things going to result in more value being created than is destroyed? I think so but then I believed in the prospects of Alcohol Fuel back in the 1970’s. In investment timing is everything. Good luck guessing when digital will take over the newspapers and libraries but it is on its way!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Books Unbound

From the Orange County Register, "Word for Word" February 18th, 2007:

UC Irvine professor Ramesh Jain has spent years studying what he calls "organic books," which change and evolve online.

"At one time, books were static objects, bound and frozen in time," Jain said. "Now an organic book is a living document."

In the future, Jain said people will be able to view electronic books in their own preferred formats and interact with them in a way impossible with a printed text.

At DPPstore, we are seeing digital reading change the way people read right now, not just in the imagined future. Digital publishing is creating the opportunity for authors and readers to choose new ways to write and to read. Authors have greater access to their audience, and they can write work of any length or brevity and still have a simple means of distributing that work to their readers. Readers in turn, have greater choice of what to read, as blogs, community groups, and online forums turn the experience of reading into a group, rather than an individual activity.

Some examples of the evolution of the book within the DPPstore community:

Coming soon to the DPPstore is an eBook that will allow the reader to choose their path through the story, much like the “choose your adventure” books that I read as a kid. Ross Buzzell’s, “X=Conspiracy,” is a Sci-Fi tale full of twists giving the reader the opportunity to participate in uncovering the story by making choices to shape the eventual outcome.

Another exciting development for digital reading is one innovative reading system in development (currently available in Beta). OSoft's dotReader will soon incorporate a feature that will allow public sharing of reader markup – or notes, so you can comment on the book you are reading and share your insights with all of the other people reading that book, and read their remarks as well. This is one more thrust in the direction of creating books as living organisms - subject to evolution, just as we all are.

Digital publishing and distribution also allows for infinite repackaging of material to best suit the diverse needs and wants of readers. For example, C.A. Scott's Racing History is available by the episode, for $4.95 each or by the volume for $24.95 (*note - our authors and publishers set their own pricing models). We could even serve a book by the page for pennies a page if authors chose to sell their work that way. Since there are minimal costs for production and distribution within the digital model, producing alternate cuts of a given book would be almost trivial - giving readers the choice of how to buy and how to read.

eBooks are currently opening up worlds of opportunity to increase the diversity of available reading material and opening wide access to the reading public for authors who have had limited exposure in the past. Authors can reach out from their laptop in their living room and reach readers all over the world! The future of the book is unfolding now.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Invitation to Readers:

Participate in our Blog ...
Help Make DPPstore Your eBook Store:

  • Provide FeedBack About Your Experience at DPPstore
  • Make Suggestions for Changes and Additions to Improve your shopping experience
  • Write Reviews of Your Favorite or Least Favorite eBooks
  • Write Articles about Software, Hardware or other eBook News
  • Start User Groups to Discuss your favorite Category of eBooks
  • Recieve Special Discounts to show our appreciation for your contributions!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Blog wars, flame wars, journalism, objectivity… personal laundry aired in public...

Recently, our company, DigitalPulp Publishing was mentioned in the context of a personal dispute between Teleread Author, David Rothman and OpenReader co-founder, Jon Noring. David R. was bringing up his doubts about the ability of Mr. Noring to remain independent in the light of his new affiliation with DigitalPulp Publishing.

Ironic, that DigitalPulp Publishing was founded with the most independent of spirits… DPPstore, our eBook retailing site is exclusively for eBooks by independent authors and publishers. We are format agnostic, and hugely in favor of the development of a non-proprietary standard that will allow readers to buy eBooks with confidence knowing that their eBook will be readable regardless of their choice of reading platforms (software and hardware). David R. makes us sound like the evil empire… (I’m putting on my Darth-Vader gear now...Luke, I am your standard). I found myself reading this article, which expressed Rothman’s doubts of the personal integrity of Jon Noring, his ability to remain independent in light of working for and with DigitalPulp Publishing, thinking about the difference between speculative journalism, investigative journalism, and Op Ed pieces.

So many blogs are based on Op Ed… just one person blasting out their perceptions of the universe, in microscopic detail or vast sweeping statements. David R. has established Teleread with a backbone of journalistic tradition. He has focused on hardware, software, standards and other eBook issues. He has invited contributors with expertise in all of the realms of eBooks to participate in the dialogue whether or not he was in agreement with their point of view. That is why I, like many interested in eBooks, read Teleread.

I was disappointed with the tone and tenor of Rothman’s latest piece… (But admittedly, I was flattered by the notion that DPP was so powerful that anyone who joined our ranks would be swayed from all of their previously held values and beliefs). Seriously though, there is no need to air personal feelings as if they had any basis in objective facts. Also, David R. managed to muddle up the following issues:

  1. Corporate interests could be in conflict with standards development.
  2. Jon Noring’s affiliation with DPP could bring about a conflict with his continuing responsibility to and participation in the standards’ movement.
  3. OSoft has not integrated the capacity to read the OpenReader Format under a timeline that pleases David.

On the first point, I agree completely with David. Corporate interests could be in conflict with standards development, IF:

  • The corporation is invested in a competing standard
  • Or, the corporation is supporting a given standard and have a vested interest in seeing it emerge (regardless of the quality of development)

DPP meets neither of these conditions. We are format agnostic in our store – we will sell eBooks in whatever format the publishers create and whatever format the consumers will buy. We are also not invested in any particular standard. We do believe that it is essential for the industry to have standards. David’s point in his article about how standards affect the consumer, “As an ordinary e-book user I badly want be able to own digital books for real and not be at the mercy of any particular company,” is a sentiment we share at DPP. We have not built a business that is dependent on the success of a particular format or an untested standard. Our business is to deliver content in the form that the consumers demand.

On the issue of Jon Noring’s honor – David Rothman has leaped overboard on this one…. Not only is Jon entirely capable of separating his vocation from his passionate avocation of standards development, it is shocking that someone so closely affiliated with him would publicly raise these kinds of doubts. In addition, as I stated previously, DigitalPulp Publishing is in favor of the emergence of a nonproprietary standard for eBook publications – leaving no moral conflict for Jon Noring to battle. In fact, standards are an essential component in realizing the full potential of the eBook market. Consumers must be able to buy an eBook reader, and know that when they download eBooks, they will be readable on their device. It’s common sense. I have seen many of the people in the eBook business engage in the folly of trying to bully consumers into a proprietary format through hardware ties or marketing schemes (such as getting a well known sales channel to exclusively sell eBooks utilizing your pet format). I believe that since there are an infinite number of solutions to the eBook puzzle, making a monopoly impossible to attain, focusing on proprietary formats only handicaps the growth of the industry. A unifying standard (which must be a non-proprietary one) will open up exponential expansion of eBook technology.

On the issue of OSoft’s timely implementation – David Rothman obviously has no idea what the process of software development entails. Timelines in software development are usually made of silly putty! The fact that OSoft has a working Beta at this date is impressive and a testament to their dedication and work ethic. OSoft’s dotReader is an open source project with SVN repositories viewable on OSoft’s Website through the Source Code Link. The development of dotReader is going to include facilitating the reading of all possible formats, including OpenReader’s own. Currently, the basic XML format (dotReader format) is just the quick and easy way to showcase the unique features of XML based formats (such as OpenReader) within the dotReader. They are NOT setting up a standard to compete with OpenReader; they have simply included a much less sophisticated XML format to get eBooks to XML quickly. We are all awaiting those creation tools that OpenReader is working on make it easier for all of us to create valid, nuanced XML-based eBooks.

The long and short – Jon Noring is a dedicated member of the standards community (a thankless job if you ask me) who is now also employed in his field of choice. OSoft’s dotReader is a well conceived and brilliantly implemented way to read eBooks (regardless of format). And DigitalPulp Publishing is a group of dedicated entrepreneurs who are grateful to count Jon Noring among our ranks, and who also fully support Mr. Noring’s continuing efforts in the standards community.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

What else? Gratitude.

Its been an unreal amount of time since my last blog entry. DPPstore has been growing in leaps and bounds. It looks like we should soon pass the 1,000 eBook milestone.

Gratitude is on my mind with the recently deceased bird making passage through my intestine. I can hardly begin to think of how much I am grateful for... because it makes me sound like a sap, and I pride myself on being a cynic.

The growth of DPPstore over the last year has blown my mind. So many authors, and independent publishers have contributed to our evolution from a tiny little eBookstore to a home for the Independent Spirit that has always defined us.

(An aside for my waxing philosophical, because this was written in the wee hours) eBooks have provided an opportunity for a bottom up democratization of publishing. They have allowed an unimaginable widening of voices reaching the marketplace. Readers now have the opportunity to vote with their dollars, removing the patronizing editorial process as the middle man that has for too long told writers and publishers that we must strive to reach the least common denominator to tap the greatest market. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this movement.

The mechanics of eBooks and eCommerce, and eMarketing have become a part of my very DNA.... (my Don't kNow Anything)... In this last year, I have had the pleasure of discovering how little I know about how much. I am grateful that DPP is never dull.

Most of all it is the people; the afore mentioned authors and publishers, the staff of DPP, and the readers that make my job such a joy. Thank you all for your participation & contributions to DPPstore & Happy ThanksGiving!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Nice to find our Niche

Niche – From the Encarta Dictionary Definition:

Place in nature,
From Ecology – a niche is the role of an organism within its natural environment that determines its relations with other organisms and ensures its survival.

This is the most poetic of the definitions offered by Encarta, and the one that I always think of first. The part that I like so well is the point made that to occupy a niche ensures an entities’ survival.

With the evolution of the internet (see borrowing terms from science again), there has been a co-opting of the term niche to common use in the context of niche markets and niche marketing.

Niche – Again from the Encarta Dictionary’s Definition:

Specialized Market
From Commerce- a niche is an area of the market specializing in a particular type of product:

“Thanks to the Internet small, niche companies can reach mass markets in a heartbeat.” Forbes Global Business and Finance (November 1998)

This is what I plan to write a bit about – the DPPstore, our consortium of Independent Publishers, and eBooks – the niche that we occupy.

In the US, there are six major publishers occupying a huge segment of the book market. There are also some 80,000 independent publishers occupying the rest of this market. DPPstore proudly uses our slogan,

"eBooks by Independent Authors and Presses for Independent Readers and Thinkers."

You may ask why it is important that we feature content exclusively from independents. The internet and eBooks offer a unique opportunity to remake the book industry. There is much about books as they are now that is good and beautiful, and should be maintained. However, with books being about commerce as much as creativity; authors works are heavily edited, authors themselves are pressured to turn out content that is formulaic and readily marketable, and the endeavor to write is being turned into little more than a JOB.

eBooks give us a low cost of production, and the internet gives us a low cost for distribution. In the digital model of publishing, the commerce side can afford to yield some risk to allow room for creativity. The big six have been slow to move on this, but the Indies have embraced ePublishing. And traditionally, the independent presses have allowed that creative freedom even when it meant risking everything with expensive print runs of titles that may never sell. They believe in the entrepreneurial spirit and experimental, innovative books. We have the opportunity to utilize the vast and diverse content from these 80,000 independent publishers to bring every consumer exactly what they want – thus filling the niches, finding our place in nature.

A quick anecdote about the quintessential niche consumer:

I asked a friend of mine if she would be interested in vetting manuscripts for publication. I chose her because she would wander down the street with her nose in a book, she read at lunch, during breaks and any other time she had the opportunity. She said that she would love to help. So I asked her what genre she liked to read. She told me, “food mysteries,” and looked at me as if I ought to know what that was. I thought she was joking, so I asked her if the books involved figuring out what someone ate by the stains on their shirts. She snarled at me and then explained that there was at least a few series of mysteries that involved chefs, cooking and food somewhere in the plot, and these were what she most liked to read.

This is just a snapshot of what the niche markets are all about. Independent publishers might have always had the insight and willingness to publish books about boating. With ePublishing and online distribution, they can now risk selling books about nudist boating. It may not be for you and me, but sunburned sailors everywhere will love this!

Niche markets provide the customer with exactly what they are looking for. DPPstore and our consortium of independent publishers are attacking a broad niche – people looking for something different. Within that niche, we are happy to sell eBooks about nudist boating, food oriented detective fiction, or whatever floats your boat. Our customers come to us looking for unique, innovative eBooks unconstrained by large company box thinking and the bottom line – that is what we deliver.

Niche – Last, from the Encarta Dictionary Definition:

Suitable Place for Somebody,
A position or activity that particularly suits somebody’s talents and personality or that somebody can make his or her own.

The eBook market is a niche that DPPstore and the Independent Presses with enormously diverse content can make our own. To work together, to cement our place, to define our niche – those are the building blocks of success.

To browse our current selection of eBooks for everyone visit
For more info on selling your eBooks through DPPstore visit us at

Thursday, July 20, 2006

World eBook Fair - 12 MILLION DOWNLOADS

One of the best things about being a part of the eBook industry is that I have had the opportunity to connect with smart and fascinating people. It has been amazing to me how accessible my heroes in this industry really are. Long before this was an industry, when it was only an idea, Project Gutenberg began. Thirty-five years ago, in fact.

Michael Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg, is one of the people that I knew of very early in my involvement with eBooks. His story was inescapable and very cool. He has spent most of his life working endless long hours alone, rallying volunteers, and doing all that is humanly possible to create public, free, unlimited access to the treasure trove of literature that has fallen out of copyright and into the public turning them into eBooks.

As I began fumbling through list serves and newsgroups, Michael Hart plucked me out and started an email friendship. I was fairly “geeked” (a term which means excited by things that many people would not readily understand). In one of our first chats, we got on a tangent about our favorite books. I told him that I had just finished reading Arthur Clark and Stephen Baxter’s, “Light of Other Days.” I started to extol its virtues and he told me he could pass along Arthur’s email address so I could tell him myself. This, for me, was a moment that for many young women would be equivalent to being told that they could call up Brad Pitt just to say, “Hi, you’re beautiful”.

Michael has since proven to be an invaluable business ally as well as a truly good friend. He has made himself available to our whole crew at DPP. As Michael and John Guagliardo, of World eBook Library, were preparing to put on the world eBook fair, Michael offered us the opportunity to sponsor the month-long summer eBook extravaganza.

DPPstore jumped at our chance to support this cause. In addition to celebrating the 35 year run of Project Gutenberg, World eBook Fair also offered an opportunity for people all around the world to download hundreds of thousands of eBook titles for free. To date, World eBook Fair has given away TWELVE MILLION eBooks.

Even after this event, DPPstore will continue our commitment to providing FREE eBooks through our store to support access to public domain titles. To visit our FREE section:


Interestingly, the mainstream media has picked up the story here and there - it was out on the AP wire before the event began. However, the list serves and newsgroups that discuss eBooks have almost entirely missed the fact that millions of eBooks are being disseminated across the world. There has been little or no discussion of this exciting event in the very groups that are dedicated to discussing all things eBook. I hope to see this change in the near future.

DPPstore is also celebrating World eBook Fair by offering a 50% off coupon for the remainder of the event on all items at the DPPstore. When ordering, simply enter the coupon code, “worldebookfair,” in the coupon field.

The World eBook Fair runs through August 4th, 2006.