I have been very busy compiling my best essays, blog posts and other writings from the past 3 years, and have finally uploaded the most recent version to Lulu (my favorite print-on-demand book store). The new book is now called 'Friction is Fiction' and is available in 3 versions: 1) 158 pages, 6x9 inches / U.S. trade format, full-color, for $60.40, here (yes, it's quite pricey because of the cost of printing 4-color, on-demand) 2) the same dead-tree version, but in black & white only, for $19.98, here (much cheaper but a lot less cool;) 3) as a PDF, for a token price of $7.50, here.
I would be delighted if you would consider buying whatever works best for you - what better Christmas present could you possibly think of! Please note that this book will be updated every 3 months, to include my latest writings. If you want to share the book page please just send people to www.frictionisfiction.com - thanks.
As to giving away the free PDF, here is the deal: you can contact me anytime (via email, Facebook or Twitter) to request a free copy of the PDF if you just don't want to (or can't) spend the $7.50, and I will send you the download link. In return, what I ask from you is to pay me with attention, i.e. to write a review on Lulu, a blog-post, or a tweet about my book, with a link (all 3 is best;). Deal?
As to the title: I used to simply call this compilation 'The Best of Media Futurist' but while looking through all those posts - and spending a lot more time revising them - I found an important thread that goes through almost all of it and which therefore has become the new title: Friction is Fiction. So what does that mean? It means that if you are currently basing your success on maintaining or even constructing hurdles, difficulties or other bottlenecks somewhere in the system - i.e. if there is something that impedes the flow of information, or a transaction or purchase so that a higher price point or some other form of control over the can be obtained - then you are very likely to face diminishing revenues in the next few years. Building obstacles for users (fka consumers) used to work just fine but... no longer. Building walls is the fastest road to suicide in the digital economy.
The web has been utterly ruthless about finding these glaring points of friction, such as paying for eMail (remember that?), paying a ton of money for long-distance phone calls (remember those pre-skype days?), or consumers not having any access to travel booking systems, flight information or seating. These hurdles are being removed, one-by-one, and those 'people formerly known as consumers' are getting more powerful every single day. Banking on friction to increase your revenues has become like throwing matches into the river and asking it to stop - it's useless.
Friction was, of course, the main money-maker in the media, entertainment and content business, for a long time: certain CDs were only available in certain stores at certain times in certain countries, DVDs with those movies you really wanted were only available in certain countries and within certain 'windows', books had to be printed and shipped, and ring-tones could only be purchased from your operator. Basically, at every turn the consumer encountered have-to's and must's which essentially allowed a substantial level of control by the media and content companies - and thus, higher prices. In many cases, the more friction the higher the price you could ask for.
No longer. Read the book!