Month: February 2010

[Video] eBook Production in Two Minutes

This two minute video demystifies eBook production and highlights the five things publishers must get right to profit from eBooks. The video was created by digital publishing solutions provider, Aptara, a firm that helps publishers — and today, that’s basically every organization on earth — distribute content in any format, to any device or platform, including eBook readers like the iPad, Kindle and Sony eReader as well as on smart phones like the iPhone and...

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The Making of a Mashup Compilation: Aurally Volume 1

By Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, aka The Audio Wrangler What do you get when you cross Pink Floyd with Christina Aquilera? How about a little Elvis with your Public Enemy? Or some Cher on top of This Mortal Coil? Although it may sound a little frightening, pairing musical groups and vocalists together in unorthodox ways can yield some pretty incredible audio sensations. Known commonly as mashups (or bastards), these bootleg musical creations are user-generated derivative works created by blending two or more songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental version of another. This technique makes it possible to create a new music product by combining, for instance, the a cappella version of “Hurt” by Christina Aquilera with the instrumental “Is there anybody out there?” by Pink Floyd. The result, when done well, yields a beautiful new audio product – in this example, a mashup entitled “Is There Anybody Hurt There?” by the mashup artist Okiokinl. I use music mashups in conference presentations, workshops, and during consulting assignments, to teach my clients (organizations struggling to get a grip on the documents, web pages, marketing brochures, and other information products they produce) about content reuse, XML authoring, component content management, and content personalization. I use music mashups as an example because it’s the easiest way to help people understand these concepts and it’s...

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[Interview] Joe Gollner: Defining Intelligent Content And Providing Some Real-World Examples

Interview with Joe Gollner by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler The Content Wrangler: Joe, thanks for agreeing to chat with us today. Tell us a little about yourself and your experience in the content industry. Joe Gollner: I began tinkering with content, using open markup technologies, in 1987 while still a grad student at University of Oxford. The tinkering has never stopped. Tapping on another side of my background, the military side, I was deeply embroiled in the CALS initiative – where we applied open markup technologies to the most complex documentation scenarios imaginable -– within the NATO defense community. I was even given the delightful, as well as official, title of “CALS Philosopher”. Over the years, I have been entangled in a bizarrely large number of projects and in sectors as far afield as aerospace and education, health care and telecommunications, academic publishing and oil engineering. I formed an XML solution integration company in 1998; sold that company to Stilo International in 2004; and chaired, for many years, the XML World series of conferences. So you could say I have been immersed in the content business for a long time –- so long that perhaps it is time to change my title again, this time to the “Content Philosopher”. The Content Wrangler: Tell us a little about your firm, the markets you serve, and the products and services...

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Valentine: The Digital, Device-Independent Comic Available Via Wireless In 14 Languages

By Alex de Campi Imagine a graphic novel series, released every month simultaneously in 14 languages and across all major wireless platforms (Kindle, EPUB, Android, iPhone), hopefully soon via the web and, eventually, in collected print editions. Every month, you pay 99 cents and get 70-75 screens of action, adventure and suspense. In its first fortnight after launch, in the difficult final weeks of December and with no marketing and without all our distributors yet on stream, the first episode had 5,000 downloads — of which English was in the minority. (There were over 100 downloads in Irish, which some call a “dead” language! And Latin is next…seriously.) So, what is this publication and what innovative publishing house is behind it, you might ask? It’s Valentine­ — an original supernatural thriller set during Napoleon’s retreat from Russia that I am co-writing with artist Christine Larsen — and, at the moment, none. It’s just two American girls who got in over their heads. Valentine became what it is today as a result of philosophizing about future models of publishing, and our real-life needs to have the book start paying for itself quickly. This was one of the reasons for choosing wireless distribution: it’s easier to sell downloads on phones and eReaders than charge for content on a website. We are a Creative Commons work, which means that we acknowledge that...

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From The Start We Were Different … An Amazing Video From Mark Logic

This video was used to open the Mark Logic 2009 User Conference. It’s an amazing presentation that tells the story of humans and the paradigm-shifting information explosion we find ourselves in today. When the video ended, the crowd went wild with applause. I’ll have to admit, I’ve never seen such response from an audience, not even to a great presentation delivered by a human opening keynote presenter. Watch the video and let us know what you think. And, consider attending the Mark Logic 2010 User Conference, May 4-6, 2010 in San...

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