Tag Archives: chris anderson

Crowd Accelerated Innovation and eBooks

This month’s Wired features an article by Chris Anderson of TED (not to be confused with editor-in-chief Chris Anderson) on what he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation. It follows Clay Shirky’s thesis that the massive increase in online access for communities of variant sizes brings changes in kind, not just degree. Anderson uses dance as an example, pointing to rapid advancement of style and new moves once online video became ubiquitous (in the first world, but still): thanks to YouTube, six year olds can memorize moves by bleeding-edge choreographers.

Here’s his own TED talk about it:

Now, he stresses the importance of online video to this development. He saw TED talks get better as speakers reviewed past highlights and worked to advance the format.

While this is all well and good, and overlaps plenty with Steven Johnson’s recent work, I’d like to investigate how Crowd Accelerated Innovation informs the ebook sector of trade publishing.

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On Chris Anderson’s “Free”

FreeI plan on reading Wired editor Chris Anderson’s book Free: The Future of a Radical Price. I greatly admire the man’s magazine, and I’ve heard from enough reviews that the book, taken with a grain of salt, contains some noteworthy ideas. As Galleycat has noted, his free-for-a-month version on Scribd has been viewed 17K times so far, though you have to read the text on your computer monitor: no pdf or epub download for your preferred reading device. Also, the reader is flash-based, so you can’t read it on your iPhone’s browser either. It’s like a library that gives away books for free, only you can’t take them out of the building!

Anderson notes in the comments (if that is him) that the audiobook version is free, without restriction, in perpetuity, and that ebook reader versions are coming soon. So… why couldn’t Hyperion roll out all versions simultaneously? I really hope there’s a justification for the staggered releases beyond organizational incompetence.

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