May. 27th, 2009

yourlibrarian: TechSupportSam-ruttadk (SPN-TechSupportSam-ruttadk)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
Two stories caught my eye recently, one discussing how MySpace is declining while Facebook use continues to increase. My knee-jerk reaction to the MySpace story was that its users had always skewed young, and were now either using Facebook because it's so ubiquitous on college campuses, or simply wanted to try something new. And while most people are online to at least some degree, it strikes me that college-educated young people are still its heaviest users. I also wondered if Facebook is simply easier to use from mobile phones? Given how visually unfriendly I've always found MySpace on a computer, I have a hard time imagining it's all that phone suitable. I also suspect that whatever the application which demands the least time and commitment is going to get the greatest buy-in, at least in the short term for high volume use. Also important is that MySpace is going to lose a good chunk of revenue from Google soon. How will MySpace monetize itself, especially if use continues to decline?

Another article involved the growth of on-demand publishing. I thought it was interesting to see that on-demand book titles have now outstripped traditionally published titles. Given our current economic climate it hardly seems surprising that bookstores would want to cut down on inventory, and publishers would be acquiring fewer titles. Also not surprising is that many think eBooks are an area of future development, since its sales avoid the problems and costs of distribution associated with print. I do think the whole question of a standalone device for reading is still up in the air. Personally I think the Kindle will only ever be a niche product, but that may depend on how many services get bundled into it. I know of one person who wanted to get one solely for the built-in, low-cost WiFi which has apparently been boosting Sprint's numbers. But it seems like development may be going in the opposite direction as well.

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Social Informatics and Media Studies

April 2010

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