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The first and second wave of viral publishers

From Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth pg 281 While the new-media pioneers at BuzzFeed and Upworthy produced LOLs and cultivated trumped-up umbrage over the killing of poor Cecil, a second guard of new-media publishers set out to capture the loyalty of another psychographic swath of America whose disaffection far surpassed […]

Vice’s ‘non-traditional’ working environment

From Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth pg 348: One abiding feature was the draconian nondisclosure and nontraditional workplace agreements staffers were required to sign before joining the company, 7 which demanded, “Individuals employed by Vice must be conscious of Vice’s non-traditional environment and comfortable with exposure to and participating in […]

Staying small in order to grow

I thought this was an interesting extract from Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth about the rise of Vice. Limiting their circulation was a deliberate strategy to facilitate its expansion in the longer term, enabling them to side step some of the pressures they would have been subject to if they […]

The proliferation of books

From Merchants of Culture, by John Thompson, pg 238. In the United States: The number of new books published in the US each year prior to 1980 was probably under 50,000. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the number of new books published greatly increased, reaching nearly 200,000 by 1998. By […]

Bounded autonomy in the workplace

In John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture, he describes what might be termed the bounded autonomy enjoyed by some editorial teams within publishing houses. From pg 128: the devolution of editorial decision-making to small editorial teams operating with a high degree of autonomy within certain financial parameters is the best way […]

What is ‘the literature’?

My experience of watching the literature on asexuality spiral from a handful of papers ever through to new ones each month has left me fascinated by how quickly ‘the literature’ can become unmanageable. Within a relatively small and nascent field, it’s possible to grasp ‘the literature’ as a totality. But […]

The Vertigo of the Accelerated Academy

From Sustainable Knowledge by Robert Frodeman, loc 1257: I feel like I am drowning in knowledge, and the idea of further production is daunting. Libraries and bookstores produce a sense of anxiety: the number of books and journals to read is overwhelming, with tens of thousands more issuing from the […]

why are we not boycotting academia.edu?

Via Nick Mahoney. How good does this event look? Why Are We Not Boycotting Academia.edu? Coventry University Tuesday 8th December 2015 3:00-6:00pm Ellen Terry Building room ET130  With: Janneke Adema – Chair (Coventry University, UK) Pascal Aventurier (INRA, France) Kathleen Fitzpatrick (MLA/Coventry University, US) Gary Hall (Coventry University, UK) David […]