Moonshots vs infrastructure
In this episode we cover a schism in digital media that traditional publishing has unwittingly played into.
- Baldur explains what it is that makes people the most angry at him.
- Moonshots versus Infrastructure.
- Digital media Reaganomics
- Brute force effort versus building automation
- Baldur agrees with a Nazi (von Braun).
- Changes require infrastructure. Trickle-down economics don't build roads.
- Without open source and open standards we'd still be stuck in the CD-ROM model.
- Paradigm clashes are messy.
- Touchpress. Editions at Play. Creative people doing clever things.
- Reviewing the story, not the innovation.
- On not releasing the APIs. Preventing people from copying or building on Edition at Play.
- The danger of building one-off infrastructure replacements. Disposable scaffolding versus roads and waterworks.
- Praise for Inkle.
- Praise for FailBetter/FundBetter.
- Hybrid models are possible if infrastructure is the end goal.
- Baldur's problem with Readium.
- What does this dichotomy mean for publishers?
- What is a publisher in print? What is a publisher in digital?
- End-to-end integration is very hard to pull off in digital. Choose a focus: author or audiences.
- Audience aggregators versus production aggregators.
- Publishers act as if authors were completely fungible. Foundation labour in publishing is brittle.
- Using Unbound as a case study: a social capital converter.
- Trade publishers don't have that clarity yet.
- The two potential models.
- Authors, unfortunately, need social capital.
- The obligatory Craig Mod reference.
- Create a clear value proposition for either the author or the audience.
- Patreon as premium LiveJournal communities. Why it is big and getting bigger. Baldur forgot Erika Moen's name despite reading her work for over a decade.
- Patreon as a pure audience aggregator that's agnostic about the content format. Disconnecting the business model from the production model results in creative freedom.
- Bolting book retail model on web artefacts.
- Subscription requires a clear and concrete value proposition.
- How do you get to the point where you're covering your costs?
- Patreon only works if you do like Dave Sim did with Cerebus: deliver on your promises, consistently and reliably. (All of Dave Sim's other weirdnesses are decidedly optional.)
- The 'Print is Great' worldview hinders all digital efforts.
- How Baldur could fund the purchase of the cheapest iPad Mini.
- 'Toxic' is relative.
- Amazon's asymmetric bet with the Kindle.
- Print is viable in the long term, just not interesting to Baldur.
Warning! Contains ums, aws, and wobbly arguments.