Category Archives: Media

Small Demons and Connecting the Dots

Small Demons launched in beta this week and is trying to help us discover new things by connecting all the dots for us. How vague is that? But seriously that what it does. You can start with a person, book, movie, music, brand or thing. I chose a specific bourbon, Old Grand-Dad. Small Demons was able to list out three books that specifically mention that bourbon and cite the passages.

Want to know a character’s favorite recipe? Small Demons will eventually be the place to go. There is also a “My Library” tab, that is not yet active and I’m not sure how deep the social component will go. I’ve only been in for a day.

The “Books Mentioned in Other Books” is quite a big rabbit hole to start down. It goes on and on and on, but it’s fun to see what books, genres and author share certain things. As fun as it is, Small Demon’s bookshelf is still small, so all of the results feel a little truncated. There are many many books that will be added and indexed.

It’s one of those things that could only happen (and scale) thanks to the internet. It’s on the same track as LibraryThing (one of the most awesome services the internet has birthed). Here’s a quick under-two-minute video they produced to promo the new search/relationship/discovery engine:

Read Library eBooks on your Apple iOS Device

You can now download and read free ebooks from the JCLC OverDrive system, on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. I’ve been doing this for two weeks now, and other than a lack of sleep from all of the reading, I have had no issues. This week I finished up two paper books and three ebooks, all thanks to the BlueFire Reader app and the JCLC eBooks system.

It’s a pretty straight forward process. I get pretty detailed in my steps, so please don’t let the number of steps deter you from trying this. Here is how you check out and read the library eBooks on your iOS device:

  1. Download the free BlueFire Reader app (iTunes link) to your device and create an account.
  2. Download the free Adobe Digital Editions desktop reader and create an account. This puts the Adobe Digital Editions program on your computer, which will act as “home base” and authenticate your ebooks.
  3. Launch the BlueFire Reader app, on your device, tap on “info” and authorize your app with your Adobe Digital Editions password.

Now, that you are all legit you are ready to check out a book!

  1. Go to the JCLC site (or your library’s downloadable site) and sign in.
  2. Check out a book. An .acm “key” file will download to your computer. Use your Adobe Digital Editions program to open this file, this will download the .epub (the actual book) file to your computer. You can now read that book on your computer.
  3. From your computer, send yourself an email, with that .epub file as an attachment.
  4. Now check your email on your iOS device. The attachment will appear with the BlueFire Reader logo.
  5. Tap and hold on that icon until the fly-out menu appears saying “Open with BlueFire Reader”, which you will select.
  6. BlueFire Reader app will now launch and you can start reading! Once your “checkout period” has expired the file will deactivate from your iOS device and your computer desktop.

I’ve also heard of people using free services like DropBox to get the book file on their device, but I haven’t tried it. The BlueFire folks are on Twitter and have been really responsive to all of my support questions. The OverDrive team is on Twitter too. I know that OverDrive and Sony have both promised Adobe DE-friendly apps soon, so BlueFire won’t be the only option. But as of right now, it’s certainly the best.

Let me know what you think and if you read anything good!

Remains of the Day – the Musical

I found Kazuo Ishiguro‘s Remains of the Day by way of the Anthony Hopkins movie and then read the book. Both are fantastic and this book has long been a favorite of mine.

While, admittedly, I lack the vision that it takes to see this Booker Prize winner translate into a musical, I am very excited about more people discovering Ishiguro’s work. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get to see it one day.

Where were the publishers?

I wasn’t able to go to BEA this year, so my online stalking of every attendee and panel confernce has been relentless. So far lots of slides and podcasts and enough video to keep me from running down the street mad. But one trend I started noticing a few weeks ago were the lack of publishers sitting in on all the great panel discussions. With panels titled: The Concierge and the Bouncer: The End of the Supply Chain and the Beginning of the True Book Culture and even Jumping Off a Cliff: How Publishers Can Succeed Online, one would think a publisher would be on stage… but no. Lots of authors and technology commentary, but not a lot about workflows and editorial processes that actually get a finished product in front of customers.

So I was glad to see Yen’s post about this today and even more excited to see some of the groups online that she highlighted. I’m familiar with all she mentioned and would only add a few of the discussions over at the Book Blogs ning site and the discussions at O’Reilly’s TOC community (also a ning site). And if you’re on Twitter the #followreader back-and-forth every Thursday are fantastic!

Someone on Twitter also said that they left BEA more pumped than ever, which is great news. Publishers need to adapt quickly if want to be able to continue adding value to an author’s work. And industry events like BEA and TOC are just the places to hear how… if the right people get to speak.