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Comment Re:Sorry Cory... (Score 1) 162

It's more like it's a way to "test a market" without having to invest heavily in merchandise and machinery first.

In my example above, if something is massively successful to the point that there's no reason not to do the fulfillment yourself, you can always switch later. There's no contracts or other niggling details to keep you tied down any longer than necessary, and even if you decide to keep an avenue of service open, you can always do new stuff yourself for a higher profit margin.

i.e. sure, you might get fleeced early on, but once you have the base established there's no reason you couldn't do it yourself later for higher profits. It just prevents early crash-and-burn, that's all.

Comment Re:Sorry Cory... (Score 1) 162

Yes and no. There are a lot of webcomic creators (myself included) attempting to do this for better or worse.

Yes, intermediaries take a cut of our proceeds, but in exchange they provide a certain level of convenience - I can own a $300+ button-making machine and sell my own buttons as they're ordered online / at conventions, or I can focus on just making buttons for conventions (when I can make a reasonable estimate of how much I need at that time, hence can make a bunch at once on someone else's machine for just the cost of the buttons) and leave the online work to Zazzle, which does (in addition to buttons), several other items I can make and sell using the same images, with no upfront costs.

At no time do I give up my copyrights to these images, so I can use them elsewhere, and if it doesn't work out, I haven't lost any money in the process.

Ideally, other POD systems or small-scale operations like Amazon's recent offerings make it EASIER for me to stand alone with marketing my work, by reducing the cost and issues with fulfillment.

A LOT of these creator-run operations don't have the time or money to run marketing research to decide if it's a good idea to make a hundred shirts, or X number of books (The cost per unit goes down as you order more, but at the same time, if it doesn't sell, it's just wasted product) so the solution requires a system that carries its own burden for the creator to reduce waste as much as possible.

We COULD do work without them... but then the game goes to the ones already big enough to handle their own fulfillment, or the ones foolish enough to invest lots of money in it before doing their homework. I'd rather have 'em than not.

Comment Re:Um, news? (Score 1) 120

This isn't that different than what I said before, or even what most webcomic artists do after a year or two in terms of selling dead tree versions of their work.

Again, he made the blog, then he sold books based on what was on that blog, and used the profits to go from there. He didn't put it up and then "hope" to get enough from ads and amazon referrals or something; he actually produced work that attracted people and got them to buy his other stuff. That some of what people bought was also content already on the site isn't that unusual.

Comment Um, news? (Score 5, Interesting) 120

Getting paid to blog is like getting paid to write. You don't just produce stuff and get paid (unless you're a novelist... good luck!), you produce stuff and get hired to MAKE SOMETHING LIKE IT.

It points out (correctly) that if you wanna make money blogging, you sell something that isn't just your content. Even if you're only a writer, you can still sell frickin' e-books at a few bucks a pop instead of always giving it away. (of course, holding ALL your work behind the golden door doesn't work either. You've got to strike a balance, even if the balance usually leans towards "give away most of it".

It's stunning how few people realize this.

Comment Re:Yeah, Screen replacement works wonders. (Score 1) 544

Depends if your laptop uses a model that allows you to remove the backlight from the rest of the screen with relative ease versus having to dissect the screen down to the "I can see the different layers of the LCD" level.

I had to go the dissection route. There's a few dust marks left behind from it, but they're not $100+ worth of annoyance to me.

Comment Yeah, Screen replacement works wonders. (Score 1) 544

Most screens will run $100, and while laptops aren't made to be "easy" to repair, You'd be replacing the entire screen, which is just popping the case open and unscrewing a few things.

I've replaced the backlight on my laptop's screen (a much harder task!), so this ought to be gravy for you, and cheaper than repairing it otherwise.

Comment Re:Somebody Had to Ask It... (Score 4, Insightful) 544

Yeah... on the list of "Stupid Ways to Get Your Laptop Stolen", we have:

#8: "Oh, it's okay, my friend's watching it"
#7: Leave it in the car
#6: Pass out at a frat house
#5: Two words: Finals Week
#4: Take a leak while "telecommuting" at Starbucks
#3: Work for a government agency
#2: Check your laptop with your airplane luggage
#1: Put child porn on it. (for a legal alternative, your social security number will also do.)

Seriously, to actually trust TSA to be doing their job 100% of the time and NOT screw with your valuables? You're nuts.

Comment Derivative?! (Score 1) 380

Well of course everything is derivative. YOU are derivative. You have copied what your education system has foisted onto us all so you can graduate and become yet another derivative cog in the system.

If you were given a chance to see something truly original... you would go insane from trying to comprehend it. indeed.

Comment Re:wtf is sexting? (Score 1) 711

It's the new "Media Buzzword" for Sexually Explicit Text Messages / Picture Messaging.

I've been hearing it a lot on HARO lately (a media trough for reporters looking for sources for articles and books -- it's also a nice predictor of media trends anywhere from a week to two months or so in the future), so apparently somebody thinks it's newsworthy that kids are swapping around dirty pictures of each other.


Violence in Games, Once Again, Not That Compelling 191

One of the great arguments of the digital age has been over the effects of video games on aggression — especially if you have ever heard the name Jack Thompson. A recent study suggest the counterpoint once again, that violent video games really don't have that much impact. "The authors performed six studies in total, but they were in broad agreement, so we'll only discuss the more compelling ones here. For the experimental portion, these involved playing an essentially identical game with different degrees of violent content. One group of participants was randomly assigned to play the game House of the Dead 3 on the different extremes of its gore settings, while a second was split between those who played the normal version of Half-Life 2, and a those who played a modified version that turned the adventure into an elaborate game of tag. In both cases, the primary influences on enjoyment were the sense of competence and satisfaction, along with the immersive nature of the game. Generally, females rated immersion as more important, while males went for competence (and consistently rated their own expertise very highly). Violence didn't register when it came to enjoyment, even for those with pre-existing violent tendencies."

Comment Yes, but how much is that vs. alternative actions? (Score 1) 516

And without the internet, we'd be spending a LOT more than that.

Imagine the gas wasted on trips to the bookstore, vs. aggregation of purchases through Amazon, the reduced waste thanks to Print-On-Demand... you get the idea.

Google is, for all intents and purposes, the cost of business. I'm all for reducing Google's energy consumption, but it's a lot better than the non-internet alternatives.

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