Adventures in Kindle Direct Publishing: New Book “Savvy for the Social Web”

Last week I published a book on Amazon’s Kindle platform. It was a fairly straightforward process, although I had to take some care with the formatting. I wrote my book in Word and was fortunate that I did not have any images or tables. Had that been the case I feel that  using HTML would…

Graduation!

Last week I graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign after finishing up my master’s program in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. It feels great to be finished, although I really enjoyed my time here and can hardly believe it has already come to an end! Over my two years at GSLIS…

Kindle eTextbook Rentals and the Future of Textbook Publishing

kindle-vs-print-books

Amazon’s recent unveiling of a Kindle Textbook Rental Service, which allows students to rent electronic versions of “tens of thousands of textbooks,” is the latest news in the radically changing textbook publishing market. Amazon boasts savings up to 80% of the print cover price, offers very flexible rental periods, and enables students to access their…

How Do You Evaluate the Blogs and Websites You Visit?

If you’ve been in school in the last decade or so, you were probably given a handout at some point explaining how to evaluate internet sources. These documents usually give a list of criteria to inspect on a website so you can determine whether it is authoritative and reliable. I remember being told to investigate…

Getting Blog Visitors From Google Maps and the Growing Impact of Local Search

Update: Late in June 2011, Google pulled third-party reviews from its Places pages in order to emphasize reviews from Google users. They did keep a small link to other sites around the web with reviews, however, so traffic generation is still possible. As I was checking the analytics for my sites the other day, I…

Google’s Content Farm Algorithm Update: Can a Computer Judge “Quality?”

Google recently made a major change in its algorithms in order to improve the quality of search results. It affects about 12% of searches, making it much more significant than its frequent smaller tweaks. It’s a timely development for people who are claiming that Google is losing the war against spam. Google’s Amit Singhal and…

Why Blogs are Peer Reviewed Sources

In academia, peer review is the process that is supposed to separate the trustworthy from the unreliable, the conclusive from the flawed, the groundbreaking from the mundane. Before a work can be published, a rigorous review by a carefully selected group of scholars in the same field is necessary in order to ensure a high…

When Online Tutorials Hurt Rather Than Help

With blogs on every conceivable topic, countless online forums and major “how-to” websites, we now have great ways to share free tutorials that can teach people practically anything. Technology-related information is especially helpful: with a simple Google search you can learn how to use any software program, learn about mobile reading or how to start…

Why I’m Waiting to Start My Blog

As I’ve become active on Twitter and participated in Blogchat these past few weeks, people have naturally asked me what I blog about. Great question! I guess I should think about that… What I mean to say is, I’m holding off on starting a personal blog for a little while, and this past Sunday’s chat…