Copyrights and Scholarly Writing

An interesting article by librarian Bryn Geffert outlines the many issues and absurdities of copyright laws as they apply to academic writing. The article begins by outlining the ludicrous amount of tedious record-keeping that must be done in order to comply with these laws; Geffert is in the midst of writing a book and requires excerpts of various copyrighted works to be included. The author notes how little many of the copyright holders even care about their works begin used and how even the missing and dead copyright holders must be accounted for. The absurdity of the situation is amplified by the cost to perform all this work, which comes out to be more than the cost to produce the book itself. Geffert suggests a multitude of solutions to this problem, a promising one being that universities will agree under a Creative Commons license to make published works accessible to other universities.

I think that the trent that Geffert describes will begin to take more shape in the years to come. As people realize that copyright laws are getting ridiculous, and as the cost is realized as well, it seems likely that adjustments will be made. Still, since many of these laws are long incorporated into the system, it’s hard to say how soon changes will take place. The first changes to occur will probably be the ones by the universities in which they each publish work under this Creative Commons license to make it more readily available. It seems that universities are realizing the need to amend copyright laws more immediately that other organizations, and this will likely prompt them to be the first to act.


Legal Limitations of Blogs

Though blogs are often viewed as a versatile form of publication with little restriction, a legal responsibility is assumed when one produces a blog. Many of these responsibilities might seem obvious, but some are less so. The more obvious ones include that plagiarism is prohibited, and copyrights and trademark laws must be in accordance when posting a blog. For example, one must not post a blog as his or her own that is from another site. As for copyright and trademark laws, pictures that are not permitted to be used on blogs unless they are created by the blogger, allowed to under the copyright license, or are given express consent from the pictures’ creator. The less obvious legal issue with blogging has to do with libel. This term refers to the publication of untrue information that would have a negative effect on someone’s reputation. Even if no one visits the blog, this practice is still considered illegal.
As more and more blogs are started up, it seems likely that more and more people will get sued. Bloggers are often created ordinary people with little knowledge of the legal responsibility that they assume by creating a blog. It would be easy for a lawyer to find a blog somewhere that maybe posted a picture illegally and collect money from that person. Perhaps this practice not yet worthwhile for a lawyer, but it could not hurt to be careful. Major lawsuits have occurred over similarly trivial issues.


Who’s Who of The Blogosphere: Technorati Top 100

While researching the blogging publishing industry, the name Technorati must have come up more times than I could remember. Upon further investigating, it became clear why.  After its start in 2002, Technorati quickly became an authoritative voice in the blogosphere by utilizing their own algorithms to rank the influence of websites based on their content. By 2008, Technorati was indexing more than 100 million blogs (Technorati).  Soon, everyone was vying for a spot on The Technorati Top 100, the “Who’s Who” list of the blogosphere. Impressive! From annual reports released by Technorati, it was clear that they wanted the information they gathered to be used to catapult websites and blogs to the next level. Offering feedback and advice from top brand marketers, for the first time in a long time, bloggers and domain owners could now see how they stacked up with the competition on the market. Technorati continues to have an enormous and influential presence in a publishing market that is rapidly growing.

The 2011 report can be found here:

B.J. Novak: Children’s Literary and Publishing Hero

For those who do not recognize the name B.J. Novak, you might know the character he played, Ryan Howard (the temp) on the American version of television show “The Office”. I heard about how he decided to write a children’s book and it was completed late last year. I am a fan of “The Office” and know what an incredible writer and editor he was for the show, so I was really curious as to what his book was about. The book is called, The Book With No Pictures, written of course by himself, B.J. Novak.

I found this to be such a strange change of writing mediums for Mr. Novak. To be perfectly honest, I was unsure how well it would do because of how this type of book isn’t what kids are used to reading. The book is 48 pages long and there are, obviously, no pictures. This book is also in printed form, while there are e-book copies, and has been on the New York Times bestselling list for 20 weeks (oddly enough, the book is under the Children’s Picture Books category). Unfortunately, I was unable to find out the difference in print and e-book sales.

Despite the fact that e-books and interactive books available on electronic devices, this book has been popular with children, and adults(it’s such a fun read) alike with nothing but words to engage them. Although it is more comedic if you read the book with a silly voice. Perhaps we should stop and think about what kids really want and need out of a book. We might find that there can be a happy medium for both print and e-books.

Be sure to check out the wonderful wordsmith, B.J. Novak reading his book to a young audience here, courtesy of Penguin Kids Youtube Channel:


The Future Has Arrived?

Without sounding overly redundant, (completely my fault as I should have posted about this sooner) what new ways are children able to access books? The future has most certainly arrived as children, even as young as two years of age, have played with some sort of tablet or mobile device. These e-readers, tablets, and smart-phones have capabilities that surpassed my imagination and continue to be perfected every single year. Children today are able to access all sorts of electronic devices in which they can, thankfully, read and/or be read to. Many of the e-books out there have now become interactive and children can be completely engaged with the story.

Not only have handheld devices become interactive, so has the content on the computers. Computers have always been a way for children to read up to date material for educational purposes but also for fun. There are many websites devoted to engaging kids in educational games and conversations, but through videos too. I know for a French class I took, we were required to read Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and while we were encouraged to buy the hard copy, our teacher recommended going to Youtube and listening to the book in French while reading along. There is now even a website for the book that has games and contests to keep kids excited and active within the books fan community.

I always think we should continue to progress with the amazing technological developments, but where does it become destructive and overwhelming? I am unsure how much more we can stimulate the youth with all these different avenues of learning. I think it eventually be too much. So, has the future arrived? Or has the future yet to come?


How Much Are You Worth?

Do your fingers race across the keyboard in fervent excitement to share new and innovative news to the masses? Do people come to you for your opinion and insight on current events and ask for your predictions on future trends? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you may have the beginnings of a blog that has potential to make you a large amount of money. How? By telling your story! Well, sort of. It’s the traffic of unique visitors to your blog that will generate that large amount of money through Ad Sales. Companies are lining up and reaching out more than ever to advertise on such blogs that will in turn generate traffic to their own sites or products and make them money. Individuals are making six figure incomes annually and some even monthly! Expert bloggers and analysts strongly believe that people of the general public are able to make a living from blogging but that it won’t be cake walk nor happen overnight. Listed in the link are some noteworthy bloggers that turned their point of view writing into multimillion dollar businesses. This lucrative business is fairly new but on a steady rise as more publishing content is turned digital. So for anyone that has a strong passion in the field of blogging and looking to strike it big, how much are you worth?

Getting too pushy…

Is it just me, or whenever I look at my phone I have a bunch of push notifications — half of which I don’t really care about. It kind of seems like they are taking over. I sign up for my favourite sports teams notifications, and ESPN thinks it is a good idea to send me a push notification for everything. I like the notifications for when my teams play, win, lose, tie, trade a player, and other general news about the team. But sometimes I look down and there are notifications that have nothing to do with my teams. Say results and highlights to an MMA fight. No ESPN, I don’t want to watch Anderson Silva snap his leg in half, that is gross. If I wanted to watch that, I would sign up for it.

It is not just ESPN though, everybody is doing it too. Especially shops and news sources. I used to have notifications set up for Breaking News reports on some of the major networks, but I have recently deleted them because they have gotten really excessive. I would turn on my phone and see:

BREAKING NEWS: ISIS Beheads Japanese Citizen

BREAKING NEWS: Patriots Win Super Bowl

BREAKING NEWS: Man Saves Kitten From Tree in Viral Video

I believe that major publication sites are taking advantage of us allowing them to send push notifications. I am not the only one who thinks this though. The developers over at Swrve also dislike the bombardment of push notifications. Marketing platform Swrve has come out with a  new program that helps filter the notifications. It hopes to change the field of push notifications by starting with the shopping applications.

With Swrve, marketers at stores won’t be sending you push notifications everyday of those sales. You will still receive your news in other places should you choose, but now it won’t be a daily occurrence. For example, they have a new program where they use your phones GPS to see when you enter a shopping mall or come close to a store. You won’t get a push message from that Macys unless you walk in to a mall with one. Then, instead of receiving these promotions everyday at home, you will receive the days promotions.

I think that this is a good start, but I believe that the field of publication is rapidly shifting their delivery systems towards this form of notification to get more viewership.

To read more on Swrve:

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the key ways to get your blog heard.  It may seem simple, but it is actually a more lengthy process than just posting your work.  I don’t really consider myself a blogger or anything, but my sister on the other hand is very good at getting her posts shared through social media.  When originally asking her about how she gets so many people to read her posts, I was astounded.  She told me that self-promotion is only half the battle because, quite frankly, nobody really cares about what you have to say if it isn’t something that is crazy exciting to them.  You need to give them a reason to want to share your work.  I think my sister has found out a pretty good ten step formula here on how to get that done.  It is very indirect, and many people don’t notice that they’re even helping you out.

Step 1: Be on social media a few times a day (I’m sure many of us are already on it too much!)

Step 2: Add as many friends (that you know, not random people) as possible.

Step 3: Check your birthday list of Facebook daily, and wish your friends a happy birthday! They will remember this.

Step 4: Check their other social media accounts, like Instagram, and comment a happy birthday if they’ve posted.

Step 5: Like and comment on anything they post that is semi-interesting. The more they see you, the more they notice you.

Step 6: Share or ReTweet any interesting posts they have.

Step 7: Make a comment about, and tag them in any posts that you think they would find interesting.

Step 8: Post at least every couple of days, not just about what you want people to follow but about everything.

Step 9: Share what you want promoted.

Step 10: Let the friends do the promoting for you.

The biggest point that she made was that you don’t want your friends to follow your few important blog posts every now and then, you want them to follow your life. They will remember you, they will feel closer to you, and they will have the motive, exigence, prompting them to share your hard work!

The Age of the E-Reader

In the ever-expanding world of digital media, we have come to know and love (read: it’s complicated) the e-book and its partner-in-crime, the e-reader. Particularly in the realm of children’s literature, e-readers have become a popular way to learn new information, encouraging new generations of readers to sit back, relax, and thumb through – ahem, tap through – a good book.

A lot of cumulative research has been compiled regarding the preference of e-readers over paper media, and the results are quite interesting. Some studies suggest that children uphold a strong allegiance to books they can hold and smell. However, many groups of younger children between the ages of 10 and 13 tend to favor e-readers. To me, this makes a whole lot of sense. The younger the children, the more comprehensive their immersion has been in the world of technology. The older children and young adults still experienced the immense pleasure of going to Barnes and Noble or Borders, pick up a new book, and devouring it in a sitting. While they may find e-readers incredibly convenient, especially for collections of what would be a super heavy stack of textbooks, they still enjoy the simplicity and satisfaction of a paper book.

Regardless, it is integral, as writers serving this demographic, that we cater to both the children who love their paperbacks and hardcovers, and the youngins whose eyes catch the light whenever they power up their Nook or Kindle. Although we perhaps favor one medium over another (I know I do), we cannot allow ourselves to stick to what we know. It’s imperative that we discover websites and publishing agencies that will allow us to focus our attention on publishing both in print and on the web. Here are a few of my favorites!

Blurb is excellent for up-and-coming young writers – they help you every step of the way!

Booktango explains, with excellent clarity, how to publish your book online quickly and efficiently. They even have a cover design tool!

Infinity Publishing has an incredibly professional air about them. They seem like good people with whom to work if you’ve already self-published and are familiar with the industry.

The different ways a blog is made to deliver the message.

One the last week and finishing up my paper after a freak accident with my computer, I thought I almost lost it all 2,600 words, I did more research and found this really cool video I thought I would share with it with the rest of the class. This Video really helps show the way blogs are deliver and video on the Internet. You can always edit and find more information about blogs but this Video rally shows you and tell you a lot about the world of Blogging. You might not want to use pages and you might want posts for your blog.