Posts Tagged ‘david Carr’

my twitter feed has gone silent

March 3, 2015

For a long while, I was off of twitter. I’ve never been a big poster, but I did have those that I followed and enjoyed reading the barrage of tweets and retweets from, experiencing the news and the world through their lens as filtered through the little blue bird. Then plugin I used suddenly disagreed with the browser I was using, and I was off twitter as I eventually migrated to a new browser and found my plugs in again.

In that time, I lost one of the lions of my twitter feed. David Carr collapsed in the newsroom of the New York Times and died on February 12th. It was a death I noted at the time, felt all of the normal pangs of mortality you start to feel after thirty and seeing someone else you now consider “young” go well before their time. It didn’t immediately strike me how large of a loss this was to my web of interests, though, to the interconnected nodes of information that I routinely draw upon, open up, and muck about it to maintain some semblance of connection with the human race.

Then I got my app for for running my twitter feed up and going again, I started remaking all of the little groups I had put together, and David Carr was still sitting there. Waiting. I added him to my Must Read group, where he had been before, knowing however that I would not have anything from him cross my feed again. After a lot of clicking, arranging, re-arranging, I settled myself for the time being and just let twitter run away in the background, figuring to check on it in a half hour or so just to see what was coming up again.

A lot of what came up before. My sports group clicked along with updates from the local reporters of my favorite teams. The publishers, agents, etc. that I follow was filling up another group with their assorted tweets. Then there was my Must Read group. There were tweets in there, to be sure, but someone was missing. It was noticeable immediately, and it was only then that the real loss of David Carr began to sink in. I had allowed my Times membership to lapse, so I wasn’t a regular reader of his column, but I had been a devoted follower of his twitter feed. On February twelfth alone, before he so wrongly passed away, he had seven posts and I have since went back and read all seven; the last of which telling us to tune in to a talk he was taking part of with Glen Greenwald, Ed Snowden, and Laura Poitras. The day before he had eleven posts including a retweet of a story of an Australian man who knit sweaters for injured penguins.

He was a prolific and varied tweeter, pushing into twittersphere whatever tickled his fancy at the moment. In 140 characters he unfailingly delivered his message. I have also read his autobiography, The NIght of the Gun. Now I think of the family Mr. Carr has left behind, and how great their loss must be. I’m not sure anything can ever truly assuage that loss. Over time, the feeling of it will hopefully lessen. Then maybe they can take solace in the bit of Carr all of us still has left to us, his words. From the archived articles at the New York Times to his still existent but silent twitter feed, there is a wealth of Carr still out there. Still accessible. The things that have survived him, that allow him to reach across the void. His words. Whenever we want, we can still take a small break in the day, and hear him speak, about the media, or about penguins in funny sweaters.

Book Links 7-15-13

July 15, 2013

And then there were five.  I’m not a huge fan of consolidation, though I also get that it could all work out. I routinely hate on the consolidation of newspapers, radio,  and all things telecom. It destroys the variety of our windows unto the world, but things like the publishing industry can be different. The different houses coming under ever larger umbrellas can still maintain an identity, which is really how the different imprints  should be defining their necessity. In an ideal world an imprint would justify its existence by being known for something, and consistently delivering it. Whether that will actually happen or not is anybody’s guess. They might also become homogenized, neutered of their individuality to become just a rubber stamp on a cover, promoting some larger vanilla image. For now, though, I have cautious faith.

David Carr has a nice article up about the necessity of Barnes and Noble. It begins promisingly, building a case for the necessity of a physical bookstore as a foundational place of gathering for a community. People go, they look, they talk. It’s healthy and good. He briefly hits on the need for multiple sources of distribution needed for the health of the publishing industry and how Amazon is arguably more of a monopolist and price fixer than Apple could yet dream of being. However,  for me much of the article boils down to the physical bookstore being a necessity because people need to go and browse to discover writers to buy from cheaper online market places.  This ties back into the whole “multiple paths are necessary” thing because ebook sales fell after Borders was shuttered.  I know it’s not the point Carr wanted to drive home, but it’s the one that hung in the air when I was done, and I have to admit it’s at least partly true. While it would be another article entirely, someone other than Nick Harkaway needs to get on a platform and start arguing that the publishing industry needs to do more to take back their industry. Of course, that’s kind of hard when the government then immediately takes them to court to shift business back into Amazon’s hands… .

In case you missed it, JK Rowling released a book under a pen name. I haven’t read the book, I don’t know if I ever will, but I don’t see what the big deal is. And I don’t like the fact that someone cowardly outed her. It wasn’t hurting anyone, and if it gives her the freedom to crank out books that are good, all the power to her.  Now, every “Galbraith” novel she might write will be looked at as a “Rowling” book and carry that baggage with it.

And yet another NYT article about Barnes and Noble and their failing Nook division. I like the Nook tablet, I’ve been considering getting one since they’ve slashed prices, and I think it’s horrible that it’s dying in such a manner. From what I’ve toyed around with, I enjoy it, and I think it’s a quality little piece of hardware. I still support publishing just having a general, all-platform format for ebooks to level the digital playing field a bit, but if you have to support one ecosystem over another, there is no way I could stomach siding with Amazon. Unfortunately, it appears too many people could stomach that particular meal.

Alright, there’s my links for the day. It’s been awhile, but I’ve been busy and I haven’t really been able to find a lot of news I really cared about. But the Apple trial and the health of B&N are two biggies for me and they’ve been in the spotlight recently. Hopefully this is the beginning of getting back on the blogging track.

Book Links 5-20-15

May 20, 2013

Apple is still fighting.  I think the government going after Apple and publishers for the agency pricing model is ridiculous considering how  Amazon was allowed to develop a strangehold on the ebook market before that. It might have forced people to spend a few more bucks in the short term, but I think it was providing for a more robust publishing industry in the long term.  While the publishers have caved, Apple continues to fight, and I applaud them and wish them luck. Also, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this bit about their tax haven practices is coming out now. Considering the big banks were allowed to skate after tanking our economy, politicians complaining about Apple gaming the tax system (legally, as they admit) rings hollow.

On the flip size, Amazon wants to profit by the government going after Apple/publishers, but they don’t want to lose any blood over it. They are fighting to keep their data/info out of the public eye, and out of the courts. I think they are wrong. they are clearly a major player in this, and they deserve  to be pulled into the fight.  They are the only major interest that will greatly benefit by the government winning their case.

Stephen King’s next book, Joyland, won’t be released as an ebook. I like this, except it’s not really his next book. It’s his next book published by the small, independent press Hard Case Crime. I still applaud the move, but it’s not like it’s his next, big publisher release. And you can still buy the physical book off of Amazon.

Not book related, but David Carr’s new article about telecom giants giving us crappy, overpriced cable is a must read.