Micropublishing Basics

Microblogging, Microfinancing – does everything have to be small and does it have to move fast? Because there is no time anymore for „real“ business?
Micropublishing is sometimes used as a synonym for microblogging. I look at it differently. Blogging is Blogging – that’s a way to quickly sketch some thought, spread information, start a discussion.
Publishing is on the one hand more onedirectional (to me), on the other hand, I think of it as a more structured and targeted process: Publishing is not dealing with ideas and sketches, it’s not using media as tools, publishing to me means to create products that cover a full process, an idea and it’s conclusions from beginning to end.

That’s why I think of books, when I think of publishing.

Wie die TiereWhen I think of micropublishing, I think of books from the fringes (and for the fringes).
I don’t think that everything get’s better when it is commercialised and turned capable of winning a majority.
Some contents don’t need to be made to fit a broader public, they don’t improve if they are forced to be generally understandable and easier to sell – sometimes that just makes them loose meaning.
Producing meaningful contents anyway (and ignoring the rules of pr and marketing) is a tightrope walk between stupid hubris, anchorless blather and hard work.
There are established media types, rules of the business, and tons of successstories.
Being so versatile that you can’t be grasped, and more present and talkative than be hardly listening audience can take – the idea of micropublishing is full of contradictions.
Why, after all, would you publish if you don’t want to adress or fit to a public?

Micropublishing, in another perspective, is also looked at as a highly commercial, marketing-optimised feature. Wikipedia describes it as: „a microtrend that would not play much of a role in the publishing world. The internet has changed this by providing authors and micropublishers with an affordable medium through which to publish and distribute their works“ and refers to Chris Andersons Long Tail.

That’s one legitimate way.
I’m thinking of another approach.

Why publishing, and why micropublishing


  • Some cOntents need shape. Rules of traditional media force to a minimum of consistency.
  • Paper has some advantages – it can be touched, it can be written on, it’s not so sensitive to dust, sand, being dropped. But it should be used only on demand.
  • Books are simply beautiful.
  • Publishing means more than putting a book on the table. If the world and the media we need are not here yet, we need to create them.
  • We don’t fill niches. We extend and stretch discussions and markets. Mobility on the edges keeps innovation goin on.
  • If it’s not a business – turn it into one, if you want. But business is not always the biggest fun…
  • You don’t need to care about or dissociate yourselves from mainstream discussions. Ignoring is healthy; simply doing someting else even more.
  • We don’t do this for fun. Respect, Satisfaction, the feeling to control things is one part; commercial success – as a living and as true means of subversion – is another part. But if it’s not about money, it could be about life.
  • Micropublishing creates products and business models that can deal with Google Books, copyright, online distribution and collaboration and creative commons.Publishing is not writing; it’s not about talking only, but about doing business. That’s why I started kbex micropublishing, well, it’s still about to be started…

Experts on Trust – Jane McConnell

TrustJane McConnell contributes to the Trust Exchange Research by sharing her thoughts on our three starting questions. Jane runs NetJMC, a strategy consultancy focused on intranets. NetJMC publishes the annual Global Intranet Trends Report, the next edition will be available in the second part of October. Have a quick glance at the first results here.

Three questions on Trust

  • Who do you trust online?
  • People I know or who come to me from other people I know. I also look at their online presence (web, blog, whatever) and make a judgement call based on that if I don’t know the person. When it gets right down to it, there are not tons of people I trust online.
    Regarding web sites, that’s even more limited.
    For transactional sites, it depends on the brand and the ease of use of the site. I’m influenced here by BJ Fogg’s work. When people I don’t know contact me, (which happens quite a lot) I tend to place more trust in those who are humble in their approach rather than those who are overly confident.

  • What is your trust built on?
  • 1. Transparency- I want to know the person’s real name, and a photo makes a big difference.
    2. Win-win relations – I trust people who give to others. People who are generous with their time and their contacts. However, I mistrust people who seem to do nothing but communicate on line because it makes me wonder what they are doing with their lives.
    When someone asks me for something, and I have a doubt, I usually give a little, and wait to see what the person does in exchange. If the relation goes well, it builds up gradually as each gives more to the other. An example of this is sharing contact names.
    3. History with the person. E.g. did they answer my email last time?
    4. Flexibility about language: the virtual context is very different from the physical world in that the clues we use to trust or not are different. I’ve done a lot of thinking about virtual teams and building trust.
    It’s important to realize that what might come across as brusqueness or rudeness in English might simply come from lack of mastery of the English language in writing, since virtual communication depends very much on the written word. Native-speakers have to tone down, simplify their language, in order to be easily understood and hopefully trusted by others.

  • 3. What difference does trust make?
  • All the difference in the world! Nothing to say here that I would not say for „real life“. You can work with people you trust, enjoy being with them, help them out, and count on them when you need help.

    Trust Exchange Research

    Read all about the research on trust in online media on our background pages.
    Don’t miss anything by following the Tag “trustex” on der-karl.com.

Experts on Trust – Digest of Trust and Censorhip in Online Media #2

TrustThis week’s issue of themashazine’s Trust Digest covers Chris Brogan’s („Trust Agents“) initiative on socially responsible bookmarketing, News Corp’s homogenisation tendencies, russian startups and the publication of the „Spambook“ with the promising subtitle „On Viruses, Porn and Other Anomalies From the Dark Side of Digital Culture“.

(Never Trust a Hippy is by NOFX)

Responsible Bookmarketing

Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents, asks for Ideas for socially responsible bookmarketing:

  • Ideas for Trading Multiple Copies of Trust Agents for Social Good
    • If a corporate sponsor bought 300 copies of Trust Agents, I’d donate 5 hours to a nonprofit of their choice, helping with social strategy, promotion, blogging, etc.
    • What if I offered to pay $50 to a charity/cause for every 10 copies of Trust Agents an individual bought (up to 10)? (That way, it’s within reach of an individual to make a difference).
    • What if, for every 10 copies an individual buys, I donate 1 book to a local library?
    • and your ideas will go here.

News Corp starts News Core

News Corporation is launching a global service that will make all its news stories and videos instantly available to its entire network of TV, print and online news outlets.
A move towards research, networked fact checking and journalistic quality?
Or is it just another step towards the total uniform media? News Corp does not comment yet.

Russian Startups face trust issues

Startupschool publishes a great post on russian startups. The biggest challenges they face are, besides lack of experience and language skills, trust problems: Users dont trust online shops, they don’t trust online payments and they don#t even trust offline shipping services. That’s a really bad omen, or, to speak nicely, a great challenge… It’s an interesting read, and the comments to that post take you deeper into russian and central asian business networks.

China uses online music as censorship vehicle

China sets new standards for distribution or censorship of onlinemusic. Companies wishing to provide music download services in China will be required to apply for an Internet culture license to do so.
Experts fear that this will be just another leverage to get concessions from big media players who want to enter the market, as online censorship is still a big issue.

The Spam Book

SpambookThis sounds very promising:
„For those of us increasingly reliant on email networks in our everyday social interactions, spam can be a pain; it can annoy; it can deceive; it can overload. Yet spam can also entertain and perplex us. This book is an aberration into the dark side of network culture. Instead of regurgitating stories of technological progress or over celebrating creative social media on the Internet, it filters contemporary culture through its anomalies. The book features theorists writing on spam, porn, censorship, and viruses. The evil side of media theory is exposed to theoretical interventions and innovative case studies that touch base with new media and Internet studies and the sociology of new network culture, as well as post-representational cultural theory.“

Authors are, among others, Sadie Plant, Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey. Get yours here, or if you happen to be in London, join the launch party.

Trust Exchange Research

Read all about the research on trust in online media on our background pages.
Don’t miss anything by following the Tag „trustex“ on der-karl.com

Experts on Trust – Heinz Duschanek

Trust ExchangeHeinz Duschanek from ewerkstatt.com is an onlinemarketing guru, SEO specialist and wordpress- and typo 3-wizard. He publishes on ewerkzeug.info
and hedu.at. He contributes this week’s expert statement on trust.

Three questions on Trust

  • Whom do we trust online?
    • Users we know from real life,
    • User we are in constant dialogue with,
    • Big brand names (Google, Adobe, Facebook, Twitter, …),
    • Media we know from other channels (print),
    • Media we observe for a while and still find them to be „okay“,
    • Online-Shops with certificates we have seen somewhere else too,
    • Companies with websites, where we can learn a lot about the owners,
    • VIPs and stars on twitter,
    • Bloggers often cited by others, or even mentioned in print-media or
    • Twitter users we know from somewhere else,
    • Twitter users we follow for a long time and communicate with,
    • Non profit organisations (Greenpeace, AI, …)
  • What is our trust built on?
    • Our own experience (real life as well as online life),
    • The use of „trust“-elements (contact info, photo, references, testimonials (maybe less nowadays), certificates, SSL, …)
    • Friends using the same source,
    • „So many other people do the same“,
    • Use of a „non-spammy“-language
  • What difference does trust make?
    • Buy or not buy,
    • Read or not read,
    • Use or not use
    • Quote or not quote
    • Publish personal data or don’t publish

Trust Exchange Research

Read all about the research on trust in online media on our background pages.
Don’t miss anything by following the Tag „trustex“ on der-karl.com

Experts on Trust – Stefan Egger

This week’s expert statement on Trust is written by Stefan Egger. Stefan is an experienced online journalist and project manager who knows how to handle the online world. His key statement: „Trust makes or breaks an online service“ – it’s as simple as that….

Three questions on Trust

  • Whom do we trust online?

My trust policy on the Internet is based on three principles:
1) Brand name (trustworthy companies/organisations/websites); I don’t have second thoughts logging on at my bank, mobile phone provider or online newspapers/forums that I have been using for a long time.
2) Action history (contact with company/organisation/persons in the past) Trust can be earned by new forums / online shops etc. If I am disappointed or feel personal data are misused, I stop correspondence immediately.
3) Security standards. This part is ONLY relevant for payment and/or online banking purposes. I don’t worry about other information (including my e-mail address and phone number) on the Web. In my opinion, that’s what the Internet is for – exchange of information without (technical) barriers.

  • What is your trust built on?

My basic trust in the medium is based on my experience (>10 years). Despite excessive (and not always „safe“) use of the Internet as such, I have never experienced problems with shared information, spam, DOS-attacks, nasty viruses (that couldn’t be removed and/or destroyed a computer/OS) or online fraud of any form. All my purchases (even with small companies outside Austria/Europe), almost all guarantee claims etc. did work as well as or better than in the classical retail world.

Personal recommendations are second only to my own experience, as in „real life“ – but only from people with online expertise.

  • What difference does trust make?

Trust from my point of view makes or breaks a website/online service. Especially with so-called Web 2.0 applications where user interaction is king. No or little trust means no interaction, few registered users, no premium service subscribers/buyers etc. plus low advertisement revenues or low credibility rates for non-commercial services.
An interesting aspect is that less experienced users often tend to share all their information for little or no benefit. Bad experiences shared by users can in these cases easily be a showstopper later.

Trust Exchange Research

Read all about the research on trust in online media on our background pages.
Don’t miss anything by following the Tag “trustex” on der-karl.com.

Trading on the Trust Exchange

TrustForget stocks. Trust is the dominant value, the really rare equity of these days.
Investing in trust, finding the right hints, dealing with promising options and building a manageable portfolio with a strict risk management – ponder trust, distrust (mischief?) and ignorance – are important skills of businesses. Recognizing trustworthy businesses is crucial for other businesses as well as for users and customers.
Wealth is built by trading on the Trust Exchange. Wealth can be financial (money) or ideal (publicity), direct (selling) or indirect (increasing reach and impact), it can be personal (bound to a single person or a company) or social (open to a community).

All about trust and Trust Exchange Research on der-karl.com – follow the news.

The research basics

Trust Exchange is a research initiative. The main question:
Is there a common notion of trust in online media?
We focus on online media, especially trust in social media,

  • because they are developing into one of the predominant filters through which we see the world – that’s neither tv anymore, nor is it direct conversations.
  • because they shape (new ways of) interaction
  • because there is a little space for negotiation left to question power, reach and impact – there is not much freedom left, but the online world is not yet as made of stone

As economists and stock traders did, we want to focus on new and emerging markets: the assumption is that there are even less established rules, additional open questions (brought up through censorship, smaller reach and different literacy skills), and new ways of media usage to learn from.
Online technology is the same in Ukraine and in Serbia, the same blogging tools are used in austria and in Kazakhstan. – But do we believe in the same kind of information, is the notion of trust the same?

The third big issue is: can we derive ways to build trust online? Is this a list of dos and donts is it pure luck? – Or is it just another play of power and manipulation?

Hit First, Ask Later?

To deal with these topics, we have to find the right questions first. How can you describe trust at all, which assumptions, feelings, ideas are brought together to form a notion of trust? Is there any common baseline, are there identifiable types of trust belonging to certain patterns of media and interaction?
This is why, for now, we start with asking three simple questions:

  • Whom do you trust online?
  • What is your trust built on?
  • What difference does trust make?

Based on the answers – short words or elaborate essays, everything is welcome – we will work on a more elaborate questionnaire that will be spread to a broader audience.
The inputs of the first go round of Trust Exchange Research are collected here and updated weekly. Please support it by dropping a few words on your notion of trust (or answering the three questions above) – either as a comment right here, via editors (at) der-karl.com or on themashazine-Facebook-Page.

A few Thoughts on the Background of Trust

What do you talk of, when you talk of trust?

  • Do you have a social, a political, a philosophical approach?
  • Is trust bound to freedom, can you only trust when you are free to do so?
  • If you don’t have another option than to trust – does this turn trust into hope? – You don’t have a choice, so you just hope that everything will turn out fine.
  • What’s the relation of trust and power? we want to trust the powerful, because they could harm us; we want to trust in that they don’t. Do we need the trust of the weak? Does trust turn the weak into powerful ones: If they need to be trusted, if we need them to trust us – that means they are too powerful to be forced? Is this a part of the nature of trust that turns trust into one of the reasons of censorship: Because trust could lead to a shift of power, you have to avoid it as good as you can.
  • What’s the relation between trust, freedom and attention? You can distrust me, you can tell others not to trust me – but by which means and in how far can you extend the effects of your opinion, convince other people? Give me a bad rating, if you can (eg on ebay) – are you sure it does not affect you at the end? You can even declare me public enemy, it might kill my reputation on one market, but it might be the most efficient PR I ever head in the rest of the world…

And after all: Why do almost all of us (at least officially) acknowledge that trust is simply a great thing?

Experts on Trust – Digest of Trust and Censorhip in Online Media

Trust and Censorship Trust and Censorship in Online Media around the World.
der-karl.com’s digest of the most important current issues on trust in online media.

Worlwide censorship reports (with a Google Maps Mashup)

Herdict.org is a project of the Berkamn Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and collects reports on online censorship.
„Let’s say you find a site inaccessible…normally, you might call or e-mail your friends and ask them if they’re experiencing the same thing. With Herdict Web, you can see – in real time – if others are reporting the same phenomenon, giving you a better sense of potential reasons of why the site is inaccessible.“

stateofthemedia.org – Annual Report: Online media are „most important“ source of information for Americans

The 2009 report of stateofthemedia.org once again compares the percentage of americans relying on online news and othe media, also checking for the primary news sources: „79% of adult users said the Internet was now their ‚most important‘ source of information (not just for news), higher than television (68%) or newspapers (60%). Getting news online, in other words, has become more of a reflex and a larger part of people’s daily lives“.

Trust in Online Media is rising in the United Arabian Emirates and falling in India?

The current Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey ranks arabian countries still at the end of the trust scale – what online marketing professionals don’t see as an obstacle, but as a business opportunity: „Tahir Khalil, Associate Director of Customised Research Nielsen Middle East, North Africa and Paksitan said there were no figures to back up any views of the digital marketing trends in the region. However, he said consumer trust which is a great driver for growth, is moving upwards.“ – Quoted from zawya.com
The Indian Business Blog, on the other hand, quotes the Nielsen Report as an example for the contrary: 77% of Indians trust Newspaper ads, but only one third trusts online ads.
The complete Nielsen Advertising Survey focusing in trust can be downloaded here.

Why do users trust online therapists?

This looks very promising – and like hard work (472 pages…): a PhD-Thesis on Trust in Online Media, focusing on online-therapies and online-consulting by Waldemar Dzeyk I’ll let you know more once I read it…

How to ask for descriptions of trust?

Sozlog published a Slideshare presentation on how to grab and research online trust, derived from a Barcamp in march this year.
The most useful part to me is the classification of reasons to trust and the main questions to ask, if you want to know more on this kind of trust.
The differentiation is:

  • rational choice: which visible reasons are there to trust?
  • routine: what rules, roles and practices are important?
  • reflexion/reflexivity: was it getting used to it? or exchanging information?
  • experience: was a there a specific story?
  • practice and empowerment: does trusting create trust and trustworthiness? how do you express trust?
  • faith: why do you believe? does your trust survive throwbacks?

Experts on Trust – Clemens Cap

Trust ExchangeWe are delighted to kick off our series „Experts on Trust “ with Clemens Cap. Clemens is currently professor at University Rostock, Germany, researching on Digital Networks and Online Media.

Three questions on Trust

  • Whom do you trust online?
    • Large organisations with wide public visibility which, should they violate trust in general, would get sufficient PR coverage so that I know about it or PR damage so they do not abuse trust.
    • Techniques which allow me to verify trust (https).
    • Content which is networked and thus allows me to have it independently checked.
    • People and users usually not so much since it is difficult to verify their true identity anyhow – unless I know them closely, their email address and communication habits.
  • What is your trust built on?
    • Public visibility of an organisation, possibility to verify my trust.
  • What difference does trust make?
    • I read their communication, I transact business, I spend time or money on them.

Details on the Trust Exchange

As a warm up to the Trust Exchange Research, themashazine asks three questions on trust to bloggers, geels, developers, online experts and other nerds. These questions go to a wide sample of users in Central- and Eastern Europe, Russia and Eurasia.

  • Whom do we trust online?
  • What is our trust built on?
  • What difference does trust make?

Please support the Trust Exchange Research by putting in your two cents, either right here or via editors (at) the mashazine (dot) com or on der-karl.com-page on Facebook.

Trust Exchange Research – the Process

Step 1, Getting in Touch – bloggers, online experts and other geeks from Central- and Eastern Eurpe, Eurasia (and a few exceptions) are asked to contribute short (or longer) statements on three questions.
Statements are collected and published until the end of october 2009.

Step 2, Looking Closer – based on the insights, more detailed questionnaires are prepared and distributed to a broader group of participants. Case studies of trust-building online-media-activities (from corporations, ngos or other associations – we are open for suggestions)

Step 3, Sit down and talk – der-karl.com will organise the discussion of the results; in online-discussions, hopefully also face-to-face in a TrustCamp.

Step 4, Publication – the consolidated story of researching trust in online media will be published in summer 2010.

What’s in it for me
Every participant will receive a full downloadable copy (pdf) of the report.
Participants in Step 1: our royalties are backlinks, and if desired (we would appreciate it), a short portrait in the list of contributors.