Tuesday News: Gawker implodes, Twitter goes bland, self-pub expose goes too far, and website features goofy crap
To All of Edit at Gawker Media – In case you missed the smoke coming from Gawker this weekend, here is part of the story of Gawker’s editorial implosion, which came after a controversial (and in many people’s opinion, a completely inappropriate and unethical) story was pulled from Gawker over the protests and without the consultation of its editorial staff. In the wake of this action, the editor-in-chief of Gawker.com, Max Read, and executive editor of Gawker Media, Tommy Craggs, both resigned (story here) http://gawker.com/tommy-
No, I was thinking in the broadest terms about the future of the company. The choice was a cruel one: a management override that would likely cause a beloved editorial leader to resign on principle; or a story that was pure poison to our reputation just as we go into the Hogan trial.
It was such a breach of everything Gawker stands for, actually having a post disappeared from the internet. But it was also an unprecedented misuse of the independence given to editorial.
Twitter removes background wallpaper from user homepages – So apparently Twitter wants to cultivate a more homogenous appearance among its users and has eliminated background wallpaper from homepages. If you haven’t used your Twitter account in the past 24 hours, you better check your homepage, because this change took effect yesterday. Assistance in customizing Tweet pages, etc. can be found here. https://support.twitter.com/
A Twitter spokesperson told Engadget, “we’re removing background images from the home and notifications timelines on web for all users. Now, background images are only available where logged-in users will see them publicly (Tweet pages, list pages and collections pages).” The images have been replaced with a blank background with a very slight hint of blue. By removing the background images on homepages and feeds, Twitter is able present a cleaner more unified look to new users.
World of Kindle eBooks – The new series at The Hustle on gaming Amazon has a doozy of an article up now, on a guy named John Havel, who allegedly ran an experiment to see how easily he could game Amazon self-publishing by putting out a Romance novel that he didn’t actually write. And which apparently ended up selling more than 1,800 copies within a week. Allegedly this was all in the interest of “science” – an expose of sorts. Interestingly, a paragraph in the original post seems to have been deleted, although the archived version of the post contains the very troubling section, so that is the link I have furnished for the story, along with the section itself, which appeared in the section “Writing the Book, Without Actually Writing”:
Plan B was more straightforward: find a romance novel in the public domain, make sure it reads well enough, change the character names, and repackage it. In other words, shameless plagiarism for the sake of science with little to no remorse. Thankfully, the internet exists. It took only 10 minutes of searching to find my golden goose: “Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin” by the grandiloquent Anna Cleary.
According to our insider, the most popular romance novels involve billionaires, military men, or jungle fever. This book hit one of those, plus taking someone’s virginity.
It only took a couple hours to copy and paste the 60,000 words into a 160 page Microsoft Word document. Reading the damn thing took the longest time but, I wasn’t complaining… it was actually pretty good. Seriously, don’t diss it ‘til you try it.
To hit one more popular romance theme, I changed all the characters’ names and made the male protagonist black for a little jungle fever action. As soon as Connor O’Brien became Carter Voss we were in business. I was ready to move on to the title and cover image.
It took 9 years to write Atlas Shrugged. I wrote my best seller in 3 hours. Get on my level, Ayn Rand.
Jane’s note: When people confronted HustleCon about the fact that the took someone else’s book, they blocked us.
This Is Why I’m Broke – A friend got me hooked on to this website recently, and I thought I’d share it with you, in case you haven’t been similarly sucked in. Has anyone tried the cricket flour protein bars? Or how about the hot tub hammock?