Presentation in Frankfurt

October 17, 2008

You can now view my presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

In this presentation, I estimate the size and scope of the book-swap “space”, and explain it in terms that book publishers might find relevant.

A video of my presentation is now available. If you have quicktime on your computer, click here to see a high quality version:

Otherwise, you can watch the video at google video here:

My apologies for the video being taller than wider, I mistaken forgot to tilt my iPhone 90 degrees before recording my talk.

At the Frankfurt Book Fair

October 15, 2008

All this week I’m at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is the main trade show of the book industry.

I’m giving a presentation on saturday entitled Book Swapping Web Sites: Not The Apocalypse. I came up with the catchy title because I’ve found many people in the book industry recoil when I explain that I run an online book swap, and I’m hoping to build some bridges while I’m here.

Here is a fuller description of my presentation:

Companies enabling book swapping are growing quickly, on the strength of the social relationship of book reading and recommending, the cost-savings, and offering a more “green” approach to book reading. This phenomena appears massively destructive: why would a consumer click “buy it now” on Amazon when they can click “get it for free” instead? The speaker, who is the CEO of one of these book trading web sites, will present data that while book trading is quite predatory on the second hand, used book market, it appears to stimulate new book sales, as well as to create more readers, moving books and reading into a central position in their lives.

Drop me an email if you’re in Frankfurt as well and want to meet.

On sunday, I head to Sweden, first to give a presentation at the Nordic Cultural Commons Conference in Stockholm.

My friend Herkko Hietanen is running the conference, and I’m looking forward to meeting up with CC-Mixter honcho Victor Stone and his artist wife Cindy.

Later next week, I hop on a train to Gothenburg for the FSCONS, “first among many Free Society conferences that bridges the gap between free software and cultural freedom.”

At FSCONS, I’ll be able to see Nikolaj Hald Nielsen, who is a fantastic Danish computer programmer who works with me on Magnatune. We correspond daily, but I have only met him once previously, and only for about an hour!

Cameras aren’t allowed at the Frankfurt Book Fair, except at public demos, i.e. not trade show booths.

The fair was running an old Linotype machine, and I took some video of it with my iPhone. The video is not that exciting, as the Linotype kept jamming. It’s a bit hard to see, but there are things spinning all over the place (it’s a Health & Safety disaster). The Linotype is a lot more primitive that I thought it would be: all it does is let drop the type letter for the key you press, and flush that type left against the others. It’s faster (I guess) than having all the letters of the alphabet in front of you and building the sentence up by hand, but it’s not the modern wonder I thought it would be.