Archive
  • “One True Version” – some accounts and thoughts
    Steve over at the Gilbane Publishing Practice Blog has a long post on the experiences of the the We Are Smarter Than Me project. We>Me, which I wrote about last year, is (was?) a project by MIT, Pearson and others to build a community to write a book about how building communities could help businesses. The results, as Gilbane tells it, are interesting. Firstly, it became clear to the steering committee that they had to relinquish all control of the project to the community in order for the community to flourish. There can be no half-measures in crowd-sourcing: you ...
  • Booktech for Comic Relief
    In a great example of books+technology improving the world, Mike Anderson of Troubled Diva has persuaded 100 bloggers to provide a humourous short piece of writing for a book to be sold in aid of Comic Relief. The whole project was pulled together in seven days flat and published via Lulu, where you can now buy the book. Including contributions from such luminaries as comedians Richard Herring and Emma Kennedy, BBC 6Music presenter Andrew Collins, James Henry, scriptwriter from Channel Four’s ‘The Green Wing’, and my tipster Siobhan, you can find out more about ...
  • Really, really short stories. Genius.
    Ficlets is a new site for authoring CC-licensed text snippets which others can play with. It’s pretty cool, and what’s more amazing is it’s come out of AOL. It’s not dissimilar to Yarn, which I mentioned earlier: ficlets are shorter than short stories. Well, no, actually, they are short stories, but they’re really short stories. Really short, as in there’s not a maximum word count … there’s actually a maximum character count (1,024). There is also a minimum character count, and the number of that beast is 64. If you wish, we’ll provide you with inspiration (photos, themes, suggested beginnings ...
  • Of Penguins, Kings, Children and Queens
    There’s been a bit of media attention in the UK lately around some children’s books which have been appearing as part of a new initiative to increase tolerance and reduce homophobic bullying in schools. Books such as And Tango Makes Three, the story of two male penguins in a committed relationship in Central Park zoo, and King & King, a new twist on the old Prince-and-Princess fairytale, introduce the concepts of same-sex love and relationships to young children. There has been the predictable response from religious groups who view such books as ‘forcing’ alternative sexualities on children, or ...
  • Yarn Balls
    Don’t you love it when you think of something really cool, but you don’t have the skills to make it happen – and then you find out someone already has? Back in October of last year, I suggested a couple of the projects that I’d like to see Booktwo build. One of these was Exquisite Corpus, an updated take on the old parlour game, Exquisite Corpse, where players took it in turn to add to a drawing or story created by the previous player. Sadly, we never managed to implement this. However, we were very pleased to stumble upon Yarn...
  • Book Politics & the World
    This week saw the first meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Publishing at the UK Houses of Parliament. The APPG was set up last month, largely on the instigation of Sonny Leong, who is chairman of the IPG, a body which does an excellent job of representing independent publishers in the UK (full disclosure: my employer is a member, but that’s a personal opinion). It’s great that indie publishers will have such a voice in the house, although the APPG was set up to communicate with the industry as a whole. The chairman of the APPG is ...
  • A Million ex-Penguins
    And so it ends. But what a work of genius. I can’t help but hear a rueful quality in the words of Penguin’s Chief Executive: ‘not the most read, but possibly the most written novel in history’. Basically, that’s a publisher’s worst nightmare....
  • Swim for it
    Bookswim is being touted as Netflix for books (or LoveFilm if you live in the UK, like I do) – an online book loan service, membership of which provides you with a number of books for an unlimited time, and covers postage both ways. Leaving aside for the moment the fact that the site looks a bit crappy (and doesn’t actually work for me, right now), I think there are two major problems with this. Firstly, Amazon will eat you. This is a business mantra that should be kept in mind by an increasing number of online businesses – Lulu...
  • For Hire

    Booktwo.org 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.

    I am also a member of the Really Interesting Group.

    You can follow me on Twitter.

    Speaking Engagements:

    I am available for conferences and other events. For examples, see my talks at Interesting, Playful, South by Southwest, dConstruct and Tools of Change Frankfurt.

    A complete list of talks, with links, is available.