J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.

Now what?


I bought a shitload of poetry for a song today, an exchange that sure did suck. It’s not supposed to work this way; the dead, penniless writers would probably agree.

Although Borders was chain, this one in Fairfax holds a special place in my heart because was the closest thing I had to a neighborhood bookstore. Over the past 10 years, I have bought countless manuals, dictionaries, magazines and unapologetic trash there. (The loftier tomes – the real books written by serious writers – are still part of the family, dutifully gathering dust on one of many IKEA bookshelves scattered about the house, all casualties of my hair’s breadth attention span.) Sure, I can buy the a how-to guide or best seller from Amazon, but I won’t be able to prowl the aisles, distracted by this title and that dust jacket. I won’t be able to indulge an impulse while waiting in line, so I don’t know where I’ll buy my overpriced bookmarks and spiral-bound journals – Amazon isn’t good for that.

Maybe I can stock up. The girl at the checkout – who seemed far too happy for someone about to be unemployed –  said they would be around for a while. “We have to sell all the store inventory and what’s in the warehouse. So we’ll be here.”

Just not for 10 more years.


McGraw-Hill, Pearson PLC to grow e-textbook lines

The Wall Street Journal reports publishing powerhouses McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP) and Pearson PLC (NYSE: PSO) are working with an interactive textbook startup to offer more higher-education titles on tablets. Pearson is in “advanced discussions” with app-maker Inkling, while McGraw-Hill has already signed an agreement.

From the story:

McGraw-Hill said its top 100 undergraduate titles and its medical-school curriculum would be converted to a digital form with interactive features over the next year. Vineet Madan, vice president of McGraw-Hill’s higher education division, called the move “just a first phase” in its plan to create more engaging learning experiences.

Considering how hard I am on textbooks, I’m not sure I welcome the move to e-textbooks — despite being a tablet enthusiast. I need to highlight, draw arrows, paper clip, paper clip some more, and use Post-it notes on every other page.

Also, it’s doubtful my tablets would recover very well from spilled coffee/Red Bull/Diet Pepsi, etc.

Very Pinterest-ing

I have a new obsession: Pinterest.com, a website that lets you create “pinboards” of interesting things you find on the Web, and it lets you follow people whose pinboards you find interesting. It’s a little like Tumblr, but more sophisticated.

The site is still in beta, but you can request an invite. It’s ideal for photographers and other highly visual people. Using their “pin it” tool, you can build pinboards that share books worth reading, places you want to go, places you’ve been, products you love, and all the styles you’d ever covet. And, of course, you can share your pins on Twitter and Facebook.

One word of caution: Once you start pinning things, you’ll find it’s hard to stop.