French blogger fined over review’s Google search placing – This is super-crazy and super-scary. A French blogger who wrote a negative restaurant review was ruled against because she had a significant blog following and because the review placed too high in the Google rankings. The French judge who made this ruling focused on the article’s title, insisting that it be changed so that the phrase “the place to avoid” did not so readily appear in searches. The restaurant, located in Southwestern France, sued, with the owner claiming that “People can criticise, but there is a way of doing it – with respect. That was not the case here.” The decision was made as part of an emergency hearing and could still be challenged at a full hearing. However, the blogger, Caroline Doudet, said she will likely not appeal, because the process was already so hard on her (she had to defend herself).
“This decision creates a new crime of ‘being too highly ranked [on a search engine]‘, or of having too great an influence’,” Ms Doudet told the BBC.
“What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people,” she added.
The judge told Ms Doudet to amend the title of the blog and to pay €1,500 ($2,000; £1,200) in damages to the restaurant, as well as €1,000 to cover the complainant’s costs. –BBC News
New Authors Group to Add Pressure to Amazon in Dispute With Hachette – A new authors group has formed, apparently for the purpose to trying to broker an end to the Amazon-Hachette contract dispute. Will they be able to change the situation in a positive way? Their first salvo will be an open letter published in the New York Times. Nate Hoffelder refers to a recent survey by the Codex Group that found only 60% of respondents knew about the dispute, and only 8% were buying fewer books as a result. I disagree with Hoffelder’s perception that the Times is primarily read within NYC, but at the same time I’m not confident that this group alone will have any real effect on the situation. Still, it will be interesting to see what they come up with and how it goes over. Clearly, something needs to happen, and it doesn’t look like it’s coming any time soon from the negotiators themselves.
Authors United initially came into existence as a result of the open letter originally written by Preston. “We feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want,” the letter said, calling on Amazon to accede to Hachette.
The letter was passed around and signed by multiple authors, and the group now includes well-known names like Paul Auster, David Baldacci, Tracy Chevalier, Philip Pullman, Donna Tartt, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Mark Haddon, Sophie Hannah, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, and James Patterson. –The Digital Reader
Smart bookmark lets authors tweet at readers who have neglected their novel – Since it’s a little too late for April Fool’s, I’m guessing this horror is real. That’s right, folks, technology now exists that can “detect if readers haven’t opened their novel recently and tweets a reminder to pick it back up.” Called Tweet for a Read, the campaign surrounding this bookmark can be viewed from the link to this story, and while it’s pretty damn clever, in a creepy sort of way, all I can say is please god no.
Created by Brazil’s Penguin-Companhia publishing house, the bookmark is equipped with a light sensor, a timer and a miniature wifi-enabled computer. The light sensor detects when the book has been closed, and the timer keeps tabs on how long readers have neglected their novel. If they leave it for longer than a week, a tweet is sent from the writer’s account reminding them that they should start reading again. Each tweet is composed in the style of the author, or using relevant phrases from the book in question. –Springwise
Identification appeal launched for man who cannot remember his name – When someone sent me this story, I held on to it in the hopes it would have a follow-up, perhaps with identification of the man. And, just recently, family identified him. Given the popularity of amnesia stories in Romance, this real-life struggle might provide some helpful details of what actual victims of the condition suffer, how their family and friends are affected, and available or likely treatments.
A hospital has launched an appeal to identify a man who claims he cannot remember his own name. The man, whom doctors have named Robert, was found in a park in Peterborough apparently suffering from a severe case of amnesia. Nearly two months since he was found there has been no improvement in his condition.
He says he is not able to recall any details of his life including his name, age or where he is from.
“The last few weeks have been truly horrible. I go through so many different emotions. At times I am angry, frustrated, depressed, lost and confused. I just need to find out my name and I hope someone out there will recognise me and help,” he said. –The Guardian
isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnÊ¼t know, didnÊ¼t think about, or didnÊ¼t feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!