Ryan Avent’s 90-page Kindle single, The Gated City, is a bargain at $1.99. It was produced in close consultation with the Kindle Singles editor, David Blum — the gatekeeper who determines what gets chosen to be a Kindle Single, and what gets relegated to the long tail of Kindle Direct Publishing.
Why is Google buying Zagat, a company which has failed miserably online, rather than, say, Yelp or Tripadvisor? I suspect a lot of the reason has to do with its pseudoscientific ratings, on a 30-point scale: Google loves being able to quantify stuff. But those ratings are silly: they’re not at all comparable between markets (try a sushi joint in Long Island and then compare it to one in New York City with an identical food rating), and they suffer from enormous inflation.
In the world of regional newspapers, Journal Register Company and MediaNews Group are very big fish; they’re now merging, and the merged entity to be called Digital First Media, will be run by John Paton. Who writes that already he’s reaching an important milestone:
The NYT’s Janet Morrissey, this weekend, had a long profile of a music-download service which as far as I can else no one else has even so much as thought about for about three years. The story itself is not particularly noteworthy, but there’s one paragraph near the beginning which encapsulates very neatly a lot of what can go wrong when journalists encounter statistics. Here it is:
I like the headline that the WSJ has put on the Michael Arrington story: “TechCrunch Editor Resigns”. While there’s an understandable amount of interest in the fact that Arrington is now officially a venture capitalist, the fact is that his $20 million CrunchFund is tiny, and the news has yet to be reported on TechCrunch itself. (For his part, Arrington has said little more than a short and snarky tweet.)
You might well have seen, this morning, the news that 25 of the 100 highest paid US CEOs earned more last year than their companies paid in federal income tax. The Reuters version of the story was linked to by the WSJ and retweeted by David Leonhardt; the NYT version already has 120 comments. Both versions, it seems, were based on embargoed copies of this report from the Institute for Policy Studies; because the reporters were given a copy of the report before it went up online, they were unable to link to it from their stories.
Every so often, Andrew Ross Sorkin will ask me when I’m going to write something nice about him. It doesn’t happen very often, because I’m more likely to feel the need to disagree with someone on the internet than I am to feel the need to agree with them. It’s called Siwoti syndrome, and it’s endemic to the blogosphere.