Gesättigter Markt

März 24th, 2015

»Anteil der Buchkäufer im Internet stagniert

Laut der Studie ›Total Retail‹ ist der Anteil der deutschen Online-Käufer, die Bücher, Musik, Filme und Videospiele am liebsten im Internet bestellen, nach einem kräftigen Anstieg 2013 im vergangenen Jahr von 78 auf 74% leicht gesunken. Auch in den Segmenten Mode (–7 Prozentpunkte) und Unterhaltungselektronik (–2 Prozentpunkte) sind die Klicks weniger geworden.


Collaborators Will Not Be Shot

März 20th, 2015

»The nature of networks is collaboration. …

Well, clearly the STM Association has only just found out. …

Now there are elements to this consultation which strike me as highly risible. While I know that, under Fred Dylla as chair, the consultation will be conducted impeccably and with total integrity and fairness, the difficulties that this enterprise faces are daunting. It’s not just that SCNs are ways of helping researchers do something they will do anyway, regulated or not. It’s not just that publisher attempts to regulate what they do have never made the slightest difference in the past and are unlikely to do so in the future. It’s not even the sight of STM making the ungainly ascent into the seaside throne of Canute that amuses so much. It is the fact that most of the SCNs who are possibly involved in the widespread transference of copyrighted scholarly materials between researchers who do not always have formal permission for those transfers, are owned and funded by … publisher members of STM.

My sympathies will always lie with the market. ….


Martina Bergmann: Das Prinzip Boutique

März 18th, 2015

»Der Totengräber des Buchhandels war nicht Amazon. Das Schäufelchen wurde eher und emsiger geschwungen. …

Und dieses Internet: Es kommt uns Buchhändlern soviel mehr zugute als dass es schadet. Es macht uns für Autoren und Verlage sichtbar, wenn wir uns nur ein bisschen Mühe geben, es gibt uns auch im Kundenkontakt neue Möglichkeiten von Unmittelbarkeit. Wir könnten jetzt sagen, wir Indies, ok, wir sind die Sieger der Geschichte. Uns gibt’s und wir sind fröhlich, und dass die Ketten mit dem Rotstift Struktur vernichten – ist das unser Problem?

Ich fürchte, ja, das ist es wenigstens zum Teil. Ich verkaufe natürlich kein Buch mehr oder weniger dadurch, dass zwanzig Kilometer weiter soundsoviel Quadratmeter mit Osterhasen zugestellt sind. Auch das Bedürfnis nach modernem Kaffee wird landwärts eher nicht in den Buchladen getragen. Problem ist aber zum einen, dass nicht wenige Titel aus Publikumsverlagen inzwischen Kaufhausbücher sind, für deren relativ beliebigen Inhalt Kunden wahrlich nicht in den Facheinzelhandel gehen müssen. Das ärgert mich. …


Data is a Commodity, Analytics is not a Solution

März 17th, 2015

»… But it is now becoming very clear, to me at least, that the value does not lie in the accumulation of the data, it lies in the analytics derived from it, and even more in the application of those analytics within the workflow of a user company as a solution. Thus if I have the largest database of cowhide availability and quality on the planet I now face clear and present danger. However near comprehensive my data may be, and whatever price I can get now in the leather industry, I am going to be under attack in value terms from two directions: very small suppliers of marginal data on things like the effect of insect pests on animal hides, whose data is capable of rocking prices in markets that rely on my data as their base commodity; and the analytics players who buy my data under licence but who resell the meaning of my data to third parties, my former end users, at a price level that I can only dream about. And those data analytics players, be they Bloomberg (who in some ways kicked off this acquisition frenzy five years ago when they bought Michael Liebrich’s New Energy Finance company) or others, must look over their shoulders in fear of the day when the analytics solutions become an end user App.

… If data really is a commodity business, far better to be a user than an owner.«


Two days ago, my company laid everyone off. And it’s messing with my head in ways I never would have imagined.

März 12th, 2015

«Just about 48 hours ago, my company, Gigaom, laid off its entire staff. What’s followed has been one of the weirdest emotional experiences I have ever had.
1. …

9. Today was the first really warm day New York City has had in months. Like we got laid off and the weather immediately changed. This has heightened the feeling of suddenly living in a place that I had not been living in before.


Technology should be used to create social mobility – not to spy on citizens

März 11th, 2015

NSA and GCHQ mass surveillance is more about disrupting political opposition than catching terrorists

By Cory Doctorow

Even if you think that hereditary dynasties and extreme wealth for the few and hereditary, extreme poverty for the many is morally fine, the reality is that extreme wealth concentration distorts policy. We want policy to reflect the best available evidence, but when legislators are drawn from, and beholden to, a tiny ruling elite, they can only make evidence-based policy to the extent that the evidence doesn’t inconvenience rich people.
It’s obvious that excluding 52% of the population from public life is bad for the economy in Saudi Arabia. It’s obvious that Canada, a country characterised by huge wilderness and resource-extraction, is in terrible danger from climate change and that it’s madness for its oil-backed Tory government to dismantle its world-class climate and environment science infrastructure, literally setting fire to the archives.

It’s obvious that the finance sector is corrupt to the highest levels, and that the City is the heart of a vast criminal enterprise. It’s obvious that homeopathy is bunk, even if Prince Charles likes it.

And so on. A state that is beholden to a small number of people is also beholden to that elite’s sacred cows. It is incompatible with evidence-based policy.

Why spy? Because it’s cheaper than playing fair. Our networks have given the edge to the elites, and unless we seize the means of information, we are headed for a long age of IT-powered feudalism, where property is the exclusive domain of the super-rich, where your surveillance-supercharged Internet of Things treats you as a tenant-farmer of your life, subject to a licence agreement instead of a constitution.«


Los Angeles Times reorients for digital

März 11th, 2015

The change at both the N.Y. Times and the L.A. Times reflects a growing — and quite belated — realization among the country’s leading newspapers that they must prioritize digital before print. 82 percent of Americans now get their news on a computer or laptop, while 54 percent get news on a mobile device, according to the 2014 State of the Media report from Pew Research


How Convergence, Innovation, and Disruption Intertwine in the 21st Century

März 10th, 2015

by Anthea Stratigos

»Looking at convergence, innovation, disruption, and how they intertwine in 21st century 2.0, 3.0, or whatever number is in fashion points to interesting developments. A lot of people think innovation automatically points to disruption and I’m not so sure. Look at what’s happening in one big sector of media and information that almost everyone points to as the poster-child for ‘has- beens.’

No company, especially market share leaders, can rest on laurels and many quietly reinvent while their detractors predict their early demise. But the big often get bigger as they drive inorganic growth and make good money for the startups and investors who wanted their backs.

Inorganic growth is the driver in that industry because enterprise information budgets dictate 3% growth on average. So buying is the way to build and those so-called disruptors are ripe for the picking. They get bought and disappear, and so far, have not really become the big bold disruptors that threaten to take down those so-called dinosaurs. Not all industries get disrupted and not all innovation is disruptive. Distinctions matter.«


»Based on want, not need«: Pitchfork’s Chris Kaskie on creative digital diversification

März 10th, 2015

Creative diversification

Kaskie says that while Pitchfork is lucky in that its diversification was driven by want rather than need (he specifies that the launch of the Pitchfork Music Festival was largely driven by a frustration with being a digital-only magazine with a dearth of physical products), he is aware that diversification for its own sake is unnecessary and possibly harmful to Pitchfork’s mission:

Pitchfork’s status as an independent owned and operated media company might have afforded it the opportunity to expand where and when it wants, but it’s still facing the same challenges – and reaping the same benefits – that other media companies do when they diversify. Ultimately, says Kaskie, so long as Pitchfork is primarily focused on serving its core audience by creating content they want to consume, its diversification strategy will continue to pay off.«


»RELX, not Relicts!«

März 9th, 2015

»It was a simple enough mistake to make. As I read my screen and saw the announcement two weeks ago I passed on the news to an American friend on the other side of the room. The response prompted the correction from me at the top of this page: Reed Elsevier have renamed themselves after their new stock exchange identity, and are not actually inviting us to call them also-rans. Everyone will appreciate the logic of removing the dual identity and the double quote and the difficult accounting exercise to keep these two trading identities in the market together. But I am left wondering if there is not another, almost subliminal, market message being left here, one to which perhaps even the senior management of RELX are oblivious. Coming a month after the death of Ian Irvine, one of the architects of the deal that brought Reed and Elsevier together, it made me wonder whether the real meaning here is a totally different orientation for the new group, one which would have invited the snarling displeasure of Dr Pierre Vinken, at whose insistence the Dual Monarchy was originally created and launched in January 1993.

RELX is not the only player to feel these tensions. Every quoted company is subject to them in one way or another. It is what management do to make these tensions creative and not negative that makes the difference. RELX? RELaX, not RELICTS