Thursday News: monetizing digital content, men’s book clubs, free comic book day, and cool visual art
The rise of a new era in the monetization of digital content – This piece takes on the dilemma of how providers of digital content can get “paid” for that content, and how consumers can protect privacy and be fairly treated in the exchange. S. Brian Mukherjee argues that providers are becoming more conscientious about this exchange, asking ad-blocking readers to whitelist their site, for example. Just realizing that there is an exchange seems to be a big step forward. I don’t know that I share his optimism about the status of the conversation, but I sure hope he’s right.
The trends are promising. We are seeing more transparency from publishers about how consumers pay for content, more meaningful and substantive branded content, more flexible pricing models and more ways for consumers to control their personal information. Taken together, I believe there is an elegant and sustainable alternative for this ecosystem to thrive, one which is respectful of consumer choice, impactful for advertisers, sustainable for publishers and effective at scale. . . .
The truth is, consumers pay with more than their attention; they pay with their information, as Ghostery users know all too well. And the plethora of pixels and trackers don’t stop tracking consumers behind a paywall — the concern for privacy certainly factors in the perception of value. – Tech Crunch
Men Have Book Clubs, Too – I started reading Jennifer Miller’s profile of a Northern California men’s book club — which also features a book-themed dinner — thinking it was so cool that more men were utilizing this format to share their reading experience. Then I hit the section of the article in which the group makes it clear that their “cardinal rule” is “no books by women about women.” Because girls have cooties and all. Yes, book clubs have historically been dominated by women, but SERIOUSLY?! The claims of discrimination are mind-boggling given the societal privilege of men in virtually every sphere of US public life.
Perhaps because participation in reading groups is perceived as a female activity, some all-male book clubs have an outsize need to proclaim the endeavor’s masculinity. In addition to going by the name the Man Book Club, for instance, Mr. McCullough’s group expresses its notion of manliness through the works it chooses to read. “We do not read so-called chick lit,” he said. “The main character cannot be a woman.” . . .
In explaining the club’s purpose, the International Ultra Manly Book Club website makes explicit the notion that men take literature as seriously as women. The “About Us” section says it was founded, in part, on the vision that “one day we could step out of the shadow of our mothers’ book clubs and proclaim that yes, we too, are intellectuals.” – New York Times
Free Comic Book Day – This Saturday, May 6th, is Free Comic Book Day! You can find a participating store at the linked site, along with a schedule of related events. – Free Comic Book Day
Visual Artist Pierre Jean-Louis Makes Black Women’s Hair Even More Beautiful – Finding many of his “models” (or “muses) on Instagram, Pierre Jean-Louis uses images of natural black hair — via pictures of black women “rocking heir natural hair” — as his landscape, creating some really stunning images.
Using the Enlight app, Jean-Louis transforms his muses into marvelous works of art, turning their natural curls and coils into some of the most alluring sceneries nature has to offer. From bright hue forests with tall pine trees and stunning greenery, to a bed of colourful flowers and even a starry galaxy, these photos are nothing short of spectacular. – Huffington Post Canada
I’m now trying to figure out the most ridiculous book that female protagonist=chick lit rule applies to. I wonder if Iain Banks knew he wrote so much chick lit. (If you’ve never read him, his books have a high probability of someone dying fairly gruesomely, even when the book isn’t that violent.)
I had a similar thought process reading men’s book group story! I’m all for men reading together and talking about healthy masculinity, but something about the tone did feel like “eww girl cooties.”
I was briefly intrigued by the men’s book club idea ’til I saw it was just the He Man Woman Haters Book Club. But I have been trying to find online book blogs or clubs (other than SFF-related) for my brother. After a lifetime as a total non-reader, he’s recently become a voracious reader and is constantly asking for book recommendations. Although there is some overlap, we’re not really interested in the same things and I’ve been struggling for ideas.
About clubs in general, I’m not exactly a joiner but I have been involved with various clubs and organizations throughout the years, some of which skewed heavily towards female memberships. But that doesn’t mean that men were forbidden. In fact, all the needlework guild I’ve been active in have fallen over themselves to welcome men as members and instructors.