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Serdar (Genji Press)
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Another possibility is that the loss-leader model has simply moved into other territories, where the mass-merchandising model can be used more effectively. Cellphones are the perfect loss-leader. By the end of your contract, you've paid more for that phone than if you had bought it outright. The company's willing to take a bit of a loss upfront so they can make it back up over the next several quarters. They do this far more freely with you and your phone plan than they do almost anywhere else because, well, you signed a contract, and they have terms harsh enough for breaking it early that they come out ahead almost all the time. Game consoles are another major loss-leader area. What Sony and Microsoft lose on each PS3 and XBOX 360, they earn back in terms of royalties and licensing for games and peripherals. It's a longer-tail plan than the conventional loss-leader system used in retail stores, but they walk away from it with a lot more money as a result.
Scott: There are plenty of cult-classic-potential B movies being made right now. They're just happening all outside the studio system and the conventional pipeline. Look at all of Yoshihiro Nishimura's movies ("Tokyo Gore Police", etc.), or "District 9", "Monsters", etc. These things do exist; it's just that most people never hear about them because they're in their own media echo chamber.
Another possibility for the "Genius Bar" approach: Add a book printer, and you could have a place where your Kindle purchases could be printed on demand as hard copies. (One to a customer.)
I had my own take on the whole "3d printer as replicator" concept here: http://www.genjipress.com/2012/01/matter-synthesizer-or-maybe-sa.html
One way I could see this working is if the stores are essentially consumer-friendly distribution points. In Japan, the chain store Lawson works like this: you can order stuff from Amazon and have it delivered to the Lawson near you to be held for pickup. Something like this might be handy for people who don't want to miss deliveries and don't have a P.O. box, but I can't imagine that being an audience broad enough to justify something like this. Perhaps they're going to use it to push Kindles and a selection of monthly specials that would appeal to the broad range of their customers who would bother to come to such an outlet. I don't see this as being a general merchandiser along the lines of Target.
One argument I heard is that piracy is at least partly a symptom of a larger problem as well as a problem in itself: it's a sign that people have contempt enough for what you do that they would rather steal it instead of pay for it. That would explain why a lot of what's gone wrong with comics is because of their own bad decision-making, with not embracing new media being one symptom of that.
Hey, with a controlling interest in Pixar, they had one of Hollywood's best and brightest pieces. Maybe they should just pick one studio -- I say Paramount -- and start there?
This is very timely! I just started putting together a promotional subsite for my new novel "Flight of the Vajra" (http://www.genjipress.com/vajra), and one of the things I was puzzling over was how much to talk about and in what detail. I decided, since the work is still in progress, to use the site as a way to talk about the issues and themes within the book -- not talk about the book itself until there's an actual finished manuscript, but instead use the process of working on the book as a source of commentary and insight. That way I could in theory get some lively discussion going about the book before it was finished, AND have that discussion still remain relevant after it was done too.
I have the bad feeling we're not going to get a universal e-book format, except by fiat, for the same reason we didn't get a "unified UNIX" in the 1980s. E-book vendors have plenty of vested interests in not creating a single unified format: they want to lock customers in to their particular ecosystem of choice, which means some format (whatever it is) with a DRM wrapper. Also, Amazon desperately needs to create better authoring tools. All of their stuff is either web-based (bleah) or command-line oriented (geh).
OPEN is interesting not just because it's an alternative legislation, but because it's being drafted via software ("Madison") that uses web collaboration. More legislation should be made like this, not in smoke-filled rooms. At the very least we'd have more of a chance to see what it was about BEFORE it got into committee!
I don't see this ending with one blow. I see rather a continual back-and-forth -- and I hope the end result of that is a positive synergy between the two extremes rather than a bunch of unenforceable legislation that is simply used to single out suckers and throw the book at them when it's politically convenient to do so.
The most startling thing about this was how no one, at first, was willing to stand up and say "You realize we are giving ourselves license to destroy one of our very own business tools?" (And quite possibly the most powerful one invented yet?) I disagree with the idea that piracy is a horror that has to be stopped at all costs. I also disagree with the idea that the only suitable answer to this is to steal everything in sight as a way to stick it to the man. Both are odious.
I agree about the swirl logo being a nice successor to the stamp. It looks like something you'd expect to see on a comic book cover. This new thing looks like something that got half torn off by mistake -- and it looks more suited to letterhead than anything with the vibrancy of a comic book. It says to me that DC thinks its future lies in being a property licensor, not a source of original creative work. Bleah.
I have to wonder what Saul Bass would have done with the DC logo. Or did he in fact design one of the previous ones? Given the general longevity of his designs I wouldn't be surprised if he had created the now-iconic 1976 shield.
I have to wonder what Saul Bass would have done with the DC logo. Or did he in fact design one of the previous ones? Given the general longevity of his designs I wouldn't be surprised if he had created the now-iconic 1976 shield.
Exactly. A decade or so ago, that was somewhat understandable; today, it's inexcusable.
The parallel I was drawing was more about how there is typically a small percentile of people who really get what the tech is about, and a much larger percentage who just use it to recapitulate what they already know.
The way I see it, we're going to have something that parallels what happened with the PC. We have a few hobbyists blazing trails on their own -- but most people are still just running Windows and checking Gmail. And I think it's a mistake to assume that the former are somehow more moral, or noble, or what have you, than the latter.
It's only just now being promoed, so it may show up on NF in a couple of months.
I'll reiterate what I said before in another post: "Capitalists quite often invent the technology that destroys their own business." What happens when we get a 3D printer that can create 3D printers?
All the news that's printed to fit.
Or in the words of Otter from "Animal House": "What this requires is a really stupid and futile gesture on someone's part." And we all know what that led to right?
"Flop" is sometimes synonymous for "This didn't perform the way the people with a vested interest in seeing it win hoped."
This, I can see. Some of the best indie publishers in days past (City Lights) started as boutique bookstores, after all. The same has been happening to music -- e.g., Kitting Factory's in-house label of the same name.
I think in the end there's going to have to be some recognition of expanded fair use. We already do this to some degree in a practical sense, but I'd like to see more actual infrastructure around it -- more nuanced protection both ways.