Everything E: Ebooks, Electronics, Entrepreneurs, and Enthusiasm
By Marydee Ojala
Editor • ONLINE
Years ago I ran into Jean Bedord at a conference. She was carrying a rather large, bulky, contraption that looked like a thick binder. It was an early ebook reader. Since then, readers have shrunk to the size of a thin paperback, more titles are available, and the term “ebook” is part of the general lexicon. Once you get Amazon and Sony involved, it’s just a matter of time before you see general acceptance of the technology. When I put the ebooks topic on my editorial calendar, Jean came to mind as one of the earliest of early adopters, and I was pleased that she was willing to share her insights with ONLINE readers.
Did publishers read my editorial calendar as well? Or did we just hit a hot topic at the right time? You’ll find some recent developments in the News section of this issue. But since then, a few other things have surfaced. Fictionwise was acquired by Barnes & Noble and launched a beta version of its eReader for the BlackBerry, allowing you to download from a collection of 50,000 titles and to read them on your mobile device. Samsung showed its Papyrus reader at the Consumer Electronics Show and plans to debut it in Korea (the U.S. probably won’t see it until late 2009). Sony and Google teamed up to offer some half a million public domain books in electronic form. Exciting times for ebooks!
Speaking of news, in the March/April 2009 issue of ONLINE, we profiled Morningstar’s 2008 acquisitions. A spokesman contacted me with a clarification. Although Morningstar announced its acquisition of South Africa’s InvestData in November, the deal didn’t close until Dec. 29, 2008, so that’s the date of record. He also pointed out that Morningstar acquired U.K.-based Fundamental Data on Oct. 2, 2008. Nice to see Morningstar’s enthusiasm for market and financial data.
Enthusiasm is what we need to cultivate in today’s dismal economy. Certainly, you need to be enthused if you are to succeed as an entrepreneur, as Joanna Ptolomey points out. And if you implement a technology at your library that impresses your users, as Linda Bedwell describes with chat widgets, you’re bound to move toward an optimistic worldview.
The newest enthusiasm seems to be Twitter. A recent comic strip (Prickly City, March 26, 2009) has its Winslow character cogitating, “I tweet, therefore I am.” Using Twitter to follow breaking news and conference presentations is a good professional use of the tool, as are its search capabilities for specific topics. Some companies use Twitter better than others. Watch out both for overloading followers and posting too infrequently. Business Wire has multiple accounts, such as @bwpolitics and @tradeshows, to cover specific topics, in addition to @expertsource, which connects reporters with experts. The accounts have different intents, which is important to keep in mind whether you’re searching or posting.
With exciting development in technology and resources, it’s a good time to keep your enthusiasm for electronic information high and your entrepreneurial spirit keen.
Ojala is the editor of ONLINE. Comments? E-mail letters
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