• Twitter + Lit = Swotter
    I’ve been playing with Twitter recently (and if you’re a regular reader, feel free to join me). Initially, I thought it was annoying and intrusive – and it still is – but it’s also such a simple, open and versatile platform, that lots of interesting things can come of it. And nothing gets that much use from people unless it has something going on. Does it? Some good examples of cool stuff made with Twitter include BBC News Feeds, Weather tracking, and Twitter Tube Updates. So, in the interest of forcing lit into every crack of ...
  • Quote me on this
    Probably the presentation that got me most excited at this week’s Future of Web Apps conference was QuotationsBook, launched at the conference by QB founder, Amit Kothari to, it must be said, a fairly muted reception – this was a pretty flashy audience who expect a lot of innovation and slickness. QuotationsBook is a neat quotation source, with some (but far from all) of the features we’ve come to expect from the sort of Web 2.0 apps featured at FOWA – bookmarking, easy sharing, and external embedding. A quick comparison with other quote sources such as Wikiquote, The ...
  • Post-Future (of Web Apps)
    The above image is from the Future of Web Apps conference which happened in London last week – unlike the Print Is Dead blog, however, I was there, and I know that Richard Moross of Moo‘s next slide was “Oh no, it isn’t.” Moo’s presentation was entitled “How we turn virtual stuff on the web into beautiful stuff in the real world” and explained how they’ve use the latest web technologies to redeply a 500-year-old industry: printing. Expect to see more of this – here and elsewhere… [Photo courtesy of Pixelm’s Flickr stream]...
  • Microsoft Reader
    I wrote about Adobe’s Digital Editions, its Adobe Reader-lite for ebook fans, a while back, but until today I hadn’t tried out Microsoft Reader – and what a pig it is. Admittedly, it’s designed primarily for PDAs (hence the Cleartype technology), but for the flagship eReader product from the largest software company on the planet, you have to be disappointed – and understand why so many people’s first experience of ebooks is such a turn-off that it colours their whole appreciation of the technology. From the blocky icon to the blurred logotype to the bland interface, the whole experience ...
  • 1,000,007
    A week in, and the Million Penguins project has been pretty interesting. Penguin’s publicity nous has got them vast amounts of coverage and vast numbers of authors very quickly, although it hasn’t exactly made for a better story – reading it is difficult, and the mishmash of styles and story arcs makes for something approaching incoherence. Nevertheless, it’s impressive that Penguin have stuck to it, and not thrown their hands in the air when the going got sticky – then again, they haven’t been showered with goatse images either. Instead, they’ve instigated a number of techniques, such as locking the ...
  • Start writing now
  • A Million Penguins
    This morning, Penguin announced the launch of A Million Penguins, a wikinovel project in association with De Montfort University. Students from De Montfort’s MA in creative writing form the basis of the projected community of writers, which will edit and expand upon the short first chapter provided over a period of six weeks. (I think six weeks – the timescale is a little unclear. Rather sweetly, they’ve left lots of setup notes on their blog, such as the inspiration gained from this Lost fan wiki.) The students will also form the core moderators of the project, ...
  • For Hire is the blog of James Bridle, a book and technology specialist with specific expertise in planning and producing web and new media projects for clients in publishing and the arts. If you'd like to hire me, have a look at my CV and portfolio, and feel free to get in touch.

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