Monday, January 12, 2015

New Zealanders of All Ages Are Reading Digital Newspapers


A survey conducted by Impact PR agency took at a look at the digital newspaper consumption of New Zealanders. Their research has shown that 2/3 of the population has read a newspaper on their smartphone or tablet, using an app in the last year.

The most interesting aspect of the report is that digital newspaper usage is not limited to youth.  The older generation is certainly reading their fair share with 3/4 of those surveyed aged 35 to 44  had read one online, and 61% of those aged over 65 had also done so as well.

2015 is poised to be a big growth year for NZ publishers and one in five Kiwis expects to read newspapers online or via an app in the next 12 months, according to the survey.

"What is heartening to see from this survey, is that Kiwis still have an appetite for news and want to be informed on what is happening around them. Clearly the emergence of online newspapers is something that Kiwis have taken to quickly and I think this growth is likely to continue as the convenience of digital media becomes even more ubiquitous through smart devices,” says Impact PR director Fleur Revell.

Many readers in New Zealand are using their local newspapers official apps for Android and iOS to read. This is the same core base of users that actually subscribe to the physical paper and use digital as an avenue to read while commuting to work or during downtime, after all the phone is always in your pocket.

There is a strong segment of users that are forgoing the standard app altogether and reading the replica edition via Pressreader.  Unlike the app editions, the replica has the local classifieds, funny pages and local advertising.

While newspapers have enjoyed a robust user base, digital magazines are languishing.  Consumers appear to prefer their magazines printed, with just 25% of people saying they have downloaded or read an electronic magazine in the last year.

New Zealanders of All Ages Are Reading Digital Newspapers is a post from: Good e-Reader

UK Prime Minister Wants to Ban Encrypted Messaging


It was bound to happen eventually, but it may surprise you to know that one of the first (non-communist) leaders to call for a ban on encrypted messaging is UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Speaking out in favour of a ban on apps that provide this service, Cameron feels strongly that the likes of WhatsApp, Snapchat, or Apple’s iMessage serve as a potential threat to national security.

Justifying his position, Ars Technica quoted Cameron saying:

“Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read?” Cameron said Monday while campaigning, in reference to apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, and other encrypted services. “My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not.'”

Protecting our privacy is a controversial subject no matter the country in which you happen to reside, but you can bet that if Cameron is successful it will set a potentially dangerous world-wide precedent. While restrictions prohibiting the use of encrypted messaging services could be inconvenient for would-be bad guys, I’m not sure I think it will ultimately prevent much of anything (because I tend to believe that if you build a better mousetrap, you will just cultivate smarter mice).

When we look to the government for protection, is it also then reasonable to allow them any and all tools they require to deliver it? If Cameron gets his way (and others like him), would you feel more or less safe? While there may be more questions than answers right now, it should give you cause to consider how you are using your mobile devices –and not do anything with them that you wouldn’t want to be made public.

UK Prime Minister Wants to Ban Encrypted Messaging is a post from: Good e-Reader

Google Kills Security Updates for 1B Android Users


If Apple had silently decided to stop providing security updates for nearly 1B of their users, the public outrage would be hard to ignore. Unfortunately for Android users, this is exactly what Google did when they chose to stop supporting WebView for those with older versions of their operating system –a shocking revelation when you consider that nearly 60% of devices fall below the Android 4.4 KitKat cutoff.

When a lot of the latest security exploits are found in WebView, is Google courageous or stupid to discontinue support? On one hand, it makes good business sense –allowing Google to focus their development efforts on fewer versions of Android, which means updates and upgrades should be delivered faster (a methodology that has worked reasonably well for Microsoft over the years, with their policy of sun-setting of support on older versions of operating systems in due time… though they usually give actual notice to users ahead of time). The other benefit as I see it, is it encourages users to upgrade their Android operating system in a more timely manner –which would be a much easier pill to swallow if upgrading was a choice users were always able to make and not reliant on manufacturers rolling it out for them.

WebView provides functionality to Android apps that allows for the display of web pages without having to launch a separate web browser application, making it a beloved and often-used feature (for developers and hackers alike).

So far Google isn’t talking about this change, but it seems unlikely that users are going to let them off the hook that easily. Chances are good that they will point out that third-party developers could always choose to provide ongoing support for WebView separate and apart from their updates, but that seems inefficient and maybe even dangerous for users who are less than tech-savvy.

Google Kills Security Updates for 1B Android Users is a post from: Good e-Reader

Cutting Out Amazon: Why Direct-to-Consumers Hasn’t Taken Off

At this year’s Digital Book World event, there’s a highly anticipated panel on publishers selling directly to readers, branding themselves for their loyal fans in such a way that there’s no need to haggle with Amaz– make that, negotiate with book retailers.

Unfortunately, this highly anticipated panel just isn’t new. Publishing industry events have been debating the ins and outs of reaching readers directly for several years, and companies have been exhibiting at these events for that same amount of time, promising both publishers and authors they could reach out to book audiences and seamlessly sell content, wiping out the need to pay fees or argue over how much a book should cost.

If it was such an innovative idea, what’s taken so long? More importantly, what will it take to get it right?

Good e-Reader spoke with Dominique Raccah, CEO of Sourcebooks and a force to be reckoned with where publishing innovation is concerned. Raccah, who will be speaking on this panel on Thursday, about what it takes to successfully market and sell to readers.

“I believe that we should not be competing with our retail partners, that we need to be providing to consumers a different thing than we’re providing through retailers. In a way, if you look at the fashion industry, that’s kind of what they did. When they started selling directly to consumers and opening their own stores, they were selling different things than you would buy when you went into Macy’s. The holdup [for Sourcebooks] was figuring out what was the different thing that we were going to offer to consumers that was not going to sell on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and also to you.”

Despite efforts from different major publishers to sell books directly through their own websites, even in the face of pricing disputes and lack of access to titles offered by retailers at one point, it isn’t a concept that has grown. This has largely been due to discovery issues, and the fact that consumers rely on book recommendations and knowledge of their favorite authors more than the name of the publisher.

“There’s only one differentiator there, and it’s going to end up being price, and that’s not a war we’re going to win. That doesn’t do anything any good for authors, doesn’t do anything good for publishers, and I’m not sure it does anything good for retailers. That is a non-starter for me.”

Sourcebooks found its niche in offering B2C content in its multiple award-winning Put Me in the Story personalized ebook platform, and through its content such as calendars sold under the site Sourcebooks bought recently, Simple Truths.

“When I went into D2c, I was really interested in finding a key differentiator that allowed us to bring value to everybody in the supply chain–our authors, our retail partners, and consumers–so that we were adding value as opposed to competing with ourselves.”

The Put Me in the Story product line is not available from Sourcebooks’ retail partners, but the marketing data has already proven that the personalized editions of the books raises the profile–and therefore, the sales–of the non-personalized, standard versions of the same bestselling titles. At the same time, a lot of Simple Truths’ titles are not available through retailers, but reach a focused consumers base.

“This idea is to create a different relationship with the customer, and what that allows is a marketing relationship and a retail relationship.”

The ideas that Raccah will speak to also have implications in self-publishing, especially in terms of authors selling their own content via their websites. While authors like Hugh Howey do offer a shopping art of their titles through their own sites, most authors will need to rely on the brand exposure a major retailer can offer. Raccah’s experience points to the need for those authors to offer a different or coordinating product that doesn’t compete with their retail partners, but instead complements the titles available elsewhere.

Cutting Out Amazon: Why Direct-to-Consumers Hasn’t Taken Off is a post from: Good e-Reader

Win free registration to Digipalooza ‘15!


OverDrive is excited to announce a partnership with Digipalooza conference partner, Penguin Random House, to offer 10 scholarships for Digipalooza '15! The scholarship will cover the $199 registration fee for five public library staff members and five school teachers or librarians to our 5th international user group conference August 5-7, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.

No matter what your job title, this conference is for you. Digipalooza blends education, networking and fun for a professional-development opportunity that you won't forget. The focus is 100% on digital media in libraries and schools and offers attendees a first look at new features, industry trends and real-world resources and solutions that can be applied after the conference.

To enter for a chance to win the Penguin Random House Digipalooza scholarship, complete the entry form by March 2, 2015. Qualified winners will be chosen at random. All U.S. and Canadian public library and school partners are eligible to win (subject to the official rules). One entry per person, please.

If you are selected as a winner and have already registered for Digipalooza, the scholarship will be applied and your registration money will be returned to you. Register today and hold your place, as spaces are quickly filling up!

Scholarship winners will be recognized at Digipalooza and will be invited to an exclusive cocktail event during the conference with the sponsor, Penguin Random House. Good luck and we hope to see you this August at Digipalooza '15!


Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.

Help your students resolve to read more in 2015

122829761Creating a New Year's resolution is a time-honored tradition. We vow to better ourselves in some fashion, be it improving our health or donating more to charity. Resolutions can be a great way to improve students in the classroom as well. As classes return from break, now is a great time to have your students resolve to read more – and OverDrive can help!

Have your students create a resolution for themselves and write it down on a piece of paper. Some examples could be to read two books a month until June, borrow an eBook each week or even just to read a book by an author they've never heard of. For your foreign language students, you could add titles in the language they're studying and challenge them to finish a whole book in that language.

Once your students come up with their resolution, have them put it in an envelope and store it until the last month of school. Then you can have the students look at their resolutions at the end of the year and reward those who achieved their goals with an ice cream party, free time or anything else they would appreciate!

Your digital library is available anytime, anywhere, and it's never been easier for your students to access materials. Help make 2015 the year your students read more than ever.


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.

Meet the Education Team at the BETT Show 2015

On Wednesday 21st January 2015, the ExCeL in London opens its doors to the world’s leading educational technology show. As well as being a trade show, BETT provides an opportunity for attendees to hear world-famous speakers like education visionary Sir Ken Robinson and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales talk; to meet like-minded teachers, academics and technicians to share good practice; to attend free training sessions; and to find out more about what is happening in the world of ed-tech.

For the first time, our entire education team will be on hand, in our own curated space to answer questions, run Picademy-style workshops, and share our passion for Raspberry Pi in education.

Have some Pis in your school and want to get going with physical computing? Then Clive Beale has a giant GPIO model and will be using in in his ‘Let’s get Physical’ workshops. Are you a science teacher who wants to hear more about our weather station and space (Astro Pi) projects? Cornish computer scientist, Dave Honess, will be giving demos across the four days. Heard that we offer free resources to teach, learn and make with Raspberry Pi? Resource and web man Ben Nuttall will be able to tell you more. Want explosions? We’ve got plans for some of those too.

Clive's big GPIO pins

Clive explains how to connect GPIO to LEDs with his giant model

It’s not just the fun-loving foundation team who will be sharing Pi related activities. We will be joined by many of our Raspberry Pi Certified Educators and members of our friendly and active community too. To name but a few from our amazing line-up: we’ll be hosting Dr Sam Aaron, creator of Sonic Pi; authors Martin O’Hanlon and David Whale; representatives from Wolfram, Code Club and Nature Bytes.

Some sessions will be lead by our Raspberry Pi Certified Educators.

Some sessions will be lead by our Raspberry Pi Certified Educators.

We’ve created a timetable of sessions on offer so that you can select those that interest you in advance.

Get your free ticket today, and we will see you bright-eyed and bushy tailed next week! (For those of you who won’t be able to make this event, don’t feel like you are missing out – sign up for the education newsletter today and we will keep you up to date with our events, resources and competitions.)

AT&T to Carry Redesigned Blackberry Passport and Classic


Blackberry and AT&T have just announced that the two sides have once again joined forces to promote a resurgence of keyboard enabled smartphones.

The BlackBerry Passport will be available in the near future for $0 down on an AT&T Next plan at $21.67 per month with AT&T Next 24,3 $27.09 with AT&T Next 183 or $32.50 per month with AT&T Next 12.3 You can also get the smartphone for $199.99 with a two-year agreement or at no annual commitment for $649.99.

Blackberry CEO John Chen also announced that the Passport model AT&T is getting being redesigned. “AT&T wanted rounded corners. Some of us are more square. No other reason than that.”

Both of these devices have launched with the Amazon App Store as an avenue to download and install apps. This was a bold move by Blackberry, no pun intended, to throw down with Amazon and forgo World as the primary avenue. Keep in mind, Amazon doesn’t have a ton of app support. In some cases, the apps you really want, aren’t available. Basically, if an app competes against one of Amazons core businesses its not welcome. In these cases, check out our own Good e-Reader App Store.

AT&T to Carry Redesigned Blackberry Passport and Classic is a post from: Good e-Reader