• Bus-Tops: London, screens and the Olympics
    Back in January, I was approached by Art Public and asked to build an application and website as part of their Bus-Tops project. This has just gone live over at, so it seems like a good time to talk about the project. Bus-Tops is part of the Cultural Olympiad, and benefited from a grant […]
  • Of gays and griots: sexuality, technology and story-telling
    This post is going to talk about sex quite a lot. I’m going to assume you’re all OK with that. For me, technology, literature and sex are all bound up together, and this entanglement can be traced back to a single book: JC Herz’s Surfing on the Internet (Little, Brown; 1994). An exploration of the […]
  • CoverSpyLondon: In ur tubes, reading ur books
    I should have mentioned this earlier, but I am joining the shadowy forces behind CoverSpyLondon for one week only. If you have any tube book sightings, please follow @coverspylondon and send us a direct message. I thank you.
  • Quietube: A surprise proxy for the Middle East
    Back in March, I launched a little site called Quietube, which is basically a little bookmarklet allowing you to watch YouTube videos without all the comments, ads and so on (original booktwo post is here). Well, it turned out to be very popular, currently edging towards two million views, with a daily average of 10 […]
  • All Hail The Book Seer
    In case you don’t read Times Emit (which you obviously should), Apt just released a fun little literary app onto the web that I designed and built: The Book Seer. I wrote about it over at TE (and had a bit of a rant about book data): It’s very simple. It’s just pulling suggestions from […]
  • Quietube: YouTube without the distractions
    A quick heads-up on a little Apt project I haven’t talked about properly before. We got bored with all the comments and crud on YouTube, so we built Quietube – think of it as Readability for your favourite videos. A little bookmarklet lets you easily and quickly generate a nice, clean page – and a […]
  • Get Satisfaction
    It’s rare that I out-and-out praise a service, particularly here, but if you’re running any kind of customer-facing service on the web I can’t recommend Get Satisfaction highly enough. In fact, if you’re not using it, you’re doing it wrong: it’s up there in a select set of absolutely essential tools like Google Analytics, Feedburner […]
  • Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook
    I’m very pleased to announce that Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, a collaboration between my employer Apt and The Institute for the Future of the Book, is now live. Several months ago we heard that the Institute was setting up in the UK, and we approached Chris Meade with a view to working with if:book […]
  • The bkkeepr API
    I’m pleased to tell you that bkkeepr, my project to create a for reading (and more besides) now has an API. An Application Programming Interface (API) is essentially a machine-readable version of an application, and more specifically, the data in contains. bkkeepr is first and foremost an application that does stuff with data, and […]
  • Return of the Tag Mirror
    Just a quick note to say that, after a long hiatus, one of my favourite pieces of data visualisation is back*: LibraryThing’s Tag Mirror. The Tag Mirror shows what everyone on LT thinks about your books. And what lovely runs of expression! “drama drugs dystopia economics elephants”. “postmodern programming prostitution psychiatry”. Oh my! The data […]
  • Introducing Bkkeepr
    Back in February, I sketched out this idea on the back of an envelope. I’m pleased to say it is now a reality. Bkkeepr allows you to track your reading and make bookmarks via text message and the web. It uses Twitter as it’s source, generating a timeline of everyone’s reading, as well as pages […]
  • Authonomy: First Look
    HarperCollins have just launched their online slushpile site,, in private beta. Authonomy allows budding authors to upload chapters of their work for the rest of the community to read and comment on. There’s been a lot of speculation about how this would be implemented, and at first sight it looks pretty good – HC […]
  • Twitter Round-up (and Swotter)
    So, I’ve been meaning to write about Swotter for a while. A couple of weeks ago, it finished reading the whole of James Joyce’s Ulysses to Twitter. I think there’s something kind of amazing about that, but I’m not sure what. Final stats: Followers: 198 (meh) Updates: 23,467 (phew!) Props to the hardcore who followed […]
  • The idiocy of lazy categorisation
    I was quite interested when I heard about (via Zero Influence – there’s a .com version too). At first sight, I thought it might be a newer, better version of a way of classifying books to create a more accurate “If you liked this, you’ll love…” recommendations system. The advantage it has on […]
  • Open library opens its doors
    The Internet Archive recently released a demo version of its new Open Library project, about which we are very excited. We’re great fans of the IA, due to the wonderful Bookmobile and the all-encompassing awesomeness of their main site, the largest collection of its kind of publicly-available text, images, audio and video, as well as […]
  • new ways to choose is such a good idea it’s surprising it hasn’t been shamelessly copied elsewhere. You move a set of sliders and get recommendations from UK library catalogues.
  • Flash, text and art
    Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries is the website and nom de guerre of artists Young-Hae Chang and Marc Voge, based in Seoul, South Korea. Their art takes the form of text, usually parodying the manifesto or thesis form and accompanied by jazz soundtracks, delivered either as film, or, on the web, flash movies. You can watch […]
  • Bob can make your book
    Cycling to work today, I saw this advertised on the side of a bus: Bob Books. Bob Books allows you to create and order books using your own text and digital photos – the examples on the website heavily emphasise personal photo albums of the baby/wedding/holiday variety. It’s a beautiful site and the downloadable software […]
  • 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. […]
  • 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, […]
  • Older Posts →

    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.

    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.