Thursday News: Facebook to host articles directly, technology and art, Harper Lee’s new book cover, and Fifty Shades director quits sequels
Like Facebook, media companies also want improved user experiences. Still, they are treading carefully. While BuzzFeed has an overt policy of spreading its content outside of its own site, The Times uses a subscription model that provides a growing portion of the company’s revenue. It would have to weigh the benefits of reaching Facebook’s users — and the ad revenue that comes with them — against the prospect of giving away its content and losing the clicks on its own site that would instead stay within Facebook.
Some news organizations have reacted coolly to the proposal. Several employees of The Guardian, for example, have informally suggested to colleagues at other publications that publishers should band together to negotiate deals that work for the whole industry, and should retain control of their own advertising, whether content is hosted on Facebook or not, a person with knowledge of the discussions said. –New York Times
I don’t mean to praise disruption or dismiss the challenges of networked life, and I wouldn’t take a proscriptive stand on “what fiction should do.” I am not, frankly, an enthusiast of cell phones or even landlines, which I have been known to unplug for days at a time, to the annoyance of housemates. I find it ever more disorienting, though, to read novels set in this “nostalgic present,” ambiguously atemporal as if they could take place any time between the 1950s and early-1990s. Or, more disorienting still, set very clearly in the present but without its technological trappings. These avoidances make the art seem less vital, less able to speak to the present, and like a choice more concerned with making things easy on writers than with offering something to readers. I’ve had some surprisingly heated arguments with other writers, making me an unintentional champion of cell phones and search engines in fiction, but what it comes down to is that I don’t see these elements of contemporary life as destructive of narrative possibilities, but as sources for new possibilities. I’ve become something of a collector of fictional moments in which networked life matters. Not the simple inclusion of emails and other “found texts” in a novel, nor casual mentions of characters owning phones and computers, but scenes in which these technologies allow writers to show something distinctly now, for better or worse, as unexpected yet instantly familiar as a ringtone played on a viola or sung by a bird. –The Millions
Morrison added that the cover, which features a train forging ahead from the distance, touches literally and figuratively on the book’s content. “Go Set a Watchman begins with Scout’s train ride home,” he said, “but more profoundly, it is about the journey Harper Lee’s beloved characters have taken in the subsequent 20 years of their lives.” –Publishers Weekly
Well, Taylor-Johnson is hardly the first director to helm only one or a portion of the films in a planned series.
Catherine Hardwicke memorably directed just the first Twilight movie before handing the reins to Chris Weitz (who just did New Moon and David Slade just did Eclipse). Gary Ross was one and done with The Hunger Games, and Chris Columbus directed the first two of what turned out to be eight Harry Potter movies. –E! Online