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eReaders,Tablets, new technologies, new methodologies

10 Dec

While everybody’s concerned with what the kids are watching, what’s your mom and dad reading on this thing?

With new technologies come new methodologies and the technology that has caught my attention recently is the e-Readers, Kindles, Amazons and tablets (not the pharmaceutical kind), apparently they are addictive, people love them, my love is conditional and i will explain why.

So today after a marvelous bike maintenance workshop by the city of Sydney, i navigated on 2 wheels to the Waterloo library for a wonderful presentation on e-Readers, check it out here, courtesy of Jeffery Cruz and the city of Sydney library

Now whats interesting to me is, there seems to be a big trend for people downloading books on these e-Readers according to futurist Stephen Euin Cobb, it would appear ‘Romance novels‘ are a huge hit on these devices and why? Well, it would appear people like reading stuff that they would be embarrassed to buy, interesting?

Tom Hanks liked e readers in the movie ‘Big’Image

Tom Hanks was in the year 1988, this is 2012, the movie Big was one of the first movies i ever saw in the big screen, back in the days when people (me) would get the bus into the city, queue up and see a movie on a Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t quite Cinema Paradiso, but it wasn’t too far away, the good old days as i sometimes recant

Now, maybe i’m from a different generation or the idea hasn’t really caught on for me and i can see why Steve Jobs would have said dedicated ereaders would never take off, it’s not for me, it wasn’t for him either.

Cinema Paradiso


Maybe Steve Jobs was the kind of guy that would go into any book shop and buy what ever he wanted, whenever he felt like? Me too, except i dont so much buy new books, i like pre loved books and random books, i looked through op shops for over 10 years for a book called ‘Papillion‘, i wanted to buy it for a $1 and i got it at a garage sale too…for a $1 and that people is my thing, i have no idea why i wanted to get that particular book in an op-shop, i dont think downloading it would have been as much fun?

Worth waiting for? You bet!


I like to think books find me, last week i was cycling home and i found a book entitled ‘Your voice and how to use it successfully’, you can download it to your eReader here

And now i realise that we are getting somewhere folks, for rare publications, out of print books, i would defiantly use an eReader, technical books, reference material, of course i would, they are a gift from god, this is why i would love them, otherwise i would rather wait and bide my time and let these publications find me or get them from the library, cycle to the library to get them, stop off in the park, have ice cream, maybe coffee later

I love that experience of going to my library, especially the library in North Carlton in Melbourne and truth be told, i’m not the only one, there are more like me, the nostalgia of Cinema Paradiso for books


The term nostalgia describes a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

I couldn’t help eves dropping on some people around me one day using a computer in the North Carlton library, pretty much everyone around me shared the same story of how they loved going to the library so much, they got rid of thier personal computers at home, for me i would stop for ice cream just up the street, sit in a beautiful park, watch dogs playing, the little kid in me loves that, how could i deny myself that?

It was a great experience that resonated within me, every time, the experience is locked in associations in my mind, its hard to appreciate something if you didn’t grow up with it, now cricket comes to mind


I was quite surprised other people felt the same way of going to a library as me, i really was most of the people were about 20 years older than me too?

Its interesting how these things take off, some ideas take off, some dont, plus an eReader would keep a lot of environmental people happy, but i wonder if people who are all about nature would be all about holding and reading a tablet to Die-Dye a t-shirt?

This is the future and 1988 is here, like it or not, we’ll just have to deal with it, maybe some will take advantage of it and accept ‘romance novel’ are Big, could Tom Hanks have predicted that?

One of the big hits initially with the internet was people felt more comfortable chatting with someone on the other side of the world about their likes and dislikes, a lot of ideas caught on from people chatting with strangers outside their peer groups, just so long as your mom didn’t find out and now, and now she’s got one of these eReaders!

I can remember picking this book up on a beach cafe in India, i didnt put it down until i finished it


I can clearly remember finding at random ‘The count of Monte Christo‘, ‘Dr Pascal‘, Francis Chichester’s autobiography, The lonely sea and sky, don’t judge a book by its cover i remember thinking when i picked it up and that cover was in tatters, i found it in my first night in Sri Lanka too, you can download all these books and check them out yourself, call it  serendipity, maybe it’s something more?

But don’t take my word for it.

Serendipity: A “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.


What i do like about the eReader is the E Ink technology, crisp clear, and it uses real ink that gets magnetised, the battery lasts two weeks, with WiFi off, it’s not like looking at a screen, so theres no strain on your eyes

The six eReaders that were presented were only 6 months old and are already obsolete now, sounds a bit like stories of laptops 10 years ago, newer models were coming out within months of each other, eReader technology is moving fast and definitely becoming more and more appealing

How to drive traffic to your site, the easy way

3 Dec

The Walker Art centre digital media team


Last week, i went to a presentation by Nate Solas, he is a senior media developer (he’s the guy in the middle, sitting down) for the award winning Walker Art Center, you see i’ve been attending quite a few lectures, meet ups, technology events, after all, i’m in Sydney and there is quite a bit going on, all you have to do is look.

I will share some of the interesting points i learnt from his excellent presentation

To get people to your site, all you have to do is write good content, so if you write something, make it good, people will come back to read more time and again, you can see this through the ‘Long tail’ of your site, i highly recommend this article by Chris Anderson, from Wired to get a deeper understanding of the long tail

Chris says:

Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.

A longtail states that there is more value in the sum of things that get small demands than on the big demand things.

It’s taking statistics to a new level, there is the longtail of travel

What a long tail looks like


Its the bottom line going across the bottom is what your aiming for. For the
Walker art centre started investigating the long tail, more specifically who these people were and what they were doing, they got to understand their business in a different way.

Whats interesting is recently Facebook changed their algorithm, the Internet has some new laws too, it favours stories that are based on good content, people will keep coming back and find content through search tools, good content doesn’t have to be on the sidebar, people will dig around for it are we in the era of digital archaeologists?

Nate talked of a ‘Long tail’, some might be forgiven for thinking it had something to do with cats, and it did to a degree, interested?

I watched a talk by Ken Robinson, in case you dont know who he is, Ken Robinson is a education reformer, one of the most interesting people you will listen to, he is also one of the world’s leading speakers with a profound impact on audiences everywhere

Ken Robinson


His TedX presentation has been viewed more than 4 million times (at the time), he said that his son showed him a youtube video of someone playing with a cat, it had 8 million hits, which was funny, but also true

What works in driving audiences to your site are, special interest groups. The Walker arts centre, launched the new site, it got a lot of traffic, they held a big rock concert, they got huge traffic, they held a cat movie festival, called ‘The nine lives of the Internet cat’, the graph went off the scale.

C is for….Cat


Continuing, Nate mentioned a few rules when you attract special interest groups, that he likes to adhere to

  • When you attract a special interest group, don’t make them look at other stuff, if they come for cat videos, give them cat videos
  • You need to Measure more and guess less
  • Stop inventing and start iterating
  • Do the obvious thing excellently
  • Give the user a sense of community, for the Walker Centre, they put the weather temperature on the front page and it’s been a huge success, people like knowing that it’s ‘Cloudy and 46 Fahrenheit’ around the centre
  • The Walker centre is happy to have links to other sites, it gives them credability too, people appreciate it and that brings people back

You can watch the entire festival cat videos here

This funny cat video has had nearly 49 million views, enjoy!!

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