Is Amazon Prime Worth Another $20 a Year? – For those of you still on the fence about whether to spend that extra $20 on a(bother) year of Amazon Prime, this video walks through the numbers (at least the ones that are known) and some of the major issues that should play into the personal analysis (what you buy on Amazon, for example). One interesting figure is that there are apparently 18.7 million American Prime members, which means that a $20/year per account increase (and, by the way, this is the first price increase since the service began in 2005) translates into $374 million more a year for Amazon. –Wall Street Journal
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wins US National Book Critics Circle award – As the only only US book prize left that is judged by book critics, the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Awards were presented last week, and the big winner was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. The non-fiction award went to Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial, which focused on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A full its of winners is available at the NBCC website.
Americanah, which has also just been longlisted for the Baileys women’s fiction prize, alongside titles by Evie Wyld, Elizabeth Gilbert and Booker-winner Eleanor Catton, had previously found favour among US book reviewers. The New York Times called it “witheringly trenchant and hugely empathetic, both worldly and geographically precise, a novel that holds the discomfiting realities of our times fearlessly before us”, and the Washington Post said it contained “a ruthless honesty about the ugly and beautiful sides” of the United States and Nigeria. –The Guardian
Sexual Abuse Allegations Rock YouTube Community – DFTBA Records, founded by Hank Green (brother of YA author John Green) and Alan Lastufka, is involved in yet another sexual abuse scandal, this time focused on Tom Milson and Alex Day, two of the YouTube musicians DFTBA handles as part of its YouTube-based music production and merchandise manufacturing company. As if this situation wasn’t complicated enough, the Green brothers run YouTube vblogs featuring DFTBA artists, including Day, and there is a suggestion made in another blog that John Green knew about some of these concerns regarding Alex Day and warned some of the girls away. Sadly, these are not even the first such accusations against DFTBA artists.
The events of the past few days have sparked a conversation about consent, healthy fan-creator relationships, and online safety in the YouTube community. Online microcelebrity is hard to monitor: it involves relatively tight-knit and virtual communities that connect individuals to one another with very little outside intervention. YouTube is an intimate, informal format that fosters close personal relationships between creator and fan. This can be a good thing, as exemplified by the online charity collaboration Project for Awesome. But it may also make for an abusive atmosphere. –NYU Local
Scrabble Contest Seeks New Words – On a happier note, Scrabble is capitalizing off of March Madness to provide fans with the opportunity of getting a new word into the Scrabble dictionary. You have until March 28th to nominate a new word. Details at Hasbro’s Facebook page.
Contest officials will choose 16 words to face off in a March Madness-style bracket, with fans voting for their favorite. The winner will be announced on April 10 and included in the next edition of the Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, to be published in August. –New York Times