Critical Linking: November 7th, 2013

A beautiful, design led experience of what it feels like to struggle with reading.

I’ve always wondered what it must be like to be dyslexic. This book might be as close as you can get.

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The Bowker numbers reported at the end of July of 2012, trying to measure who got the Borders sales (which were 10% of the total when the retailer went out of business) put Amazon’s total share of the book market at 29%, up from 23% a year earlier. In that same report, it was reported that B&N had gained a point of share, up from 19% to 20%. So Amazon out-benefited B&N from Borders’ collapse by six to one.

Makes sense: hard for B&N, which is itself contracting, to open new stores around defunct Borders locations. Much easier for former Borders customers to jump online.

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Amazon.com today introduced Amazon Source, a new program that enables independent bookstores and other retailers to sell Kindle devices and accessories, and earn money while doing so.

Mind-blowingly arrogant. Do they really think some indie bookstore is going to sign up for this?

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Slacker, which now has 30 million listeners, has found that users spend 20% more time listening to stations curated by real people. What’s more, users who pay for a Slacker subscription end up spending 84% of their time on the service listening to the curated stations rather than creating playlists driven by algorithms, as one might do on Pandora. Stapleford attributes this success to the variety and personality of having a real person calling the shots.

Always thought this was true. Now here’s a little indication that human curation beats algorithms. Might not scale as well, but if you can do it, it is better.

 

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