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Re: Important announcement: Seriously considering closing The eBook Community group

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  • mogoldme
    Jon, You have made a tremendous contribution with this group. Your efforts will be rewarded and will find creative expression in other other outlets.
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 30, 2008
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      Jon,

      You have made a tremendous contribution with this group. Your efforts
      will be rewarded and will find creative expression in other other
      outlets. Continued Success! Sincerely, "MO"
      --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com, "Jon Noring" <jon@...> wrote:
      >
      > Everyone,
      >
      > In early January 1996, I started the eBook Community (TeBC) mailing
      > list/forum. Since then, TeBC has had a remarkable run, and for a
      > number of years was the premier mailing list to discuss all things
      > e-book.
      >
      > However, nothing is forever -- everything has a beginning, and an
      > ending. That's the natural order of things. The last couple of years
      > we've seen discussion in this group trickle off to essentially
      > nothing.
      >
      > And the group poll I started a few months ago (which included a couple
      > group announcements, see
      >
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ebook-community/surveys?id=2739026 )
      >
      > has had disappointing results. The poll shows that the actual number
      > of people who actively and eagerly follow this group is quite small,
      > less than a hundred, despite the indicated number of subscribers
      > (about 3400).
      >
      > In addition, the number of notables in the digital publishing industry
      > who follow this group is even smaller -- most of the notables now
      > follow and contribute articles and comments to various blogs
      > (particularly TeleRead), and to the private (by invitation only) and
      > quite thriving Reading 2.0 list founded and run by Peter Brantley.
      >
      > Digital publishing professionals have only so much time they can
      > commit to follow the digital publishing "community channels", and it
      > is obvious that they have already committed their time elsewhere.
      >
      > Thus, I am contemplating closing this group in a fashion similar to
      > how John Mark Ockerbloom did for the Book People list: simply pulling
      > the plug and not supporting/endorsing any successor group.
      >
      > However, I will consider turning over the reins of this group so it
      > may continue uninterrupted, provided that a group of five or more
      > people *formally* band together into a "steering committee" and
      > propose to me, in writing, a cogent vision and marketing plan to
      > reorganize and revitalize this group.
      >
      > Note that I use the word "consider", since I am pessimistic anything
      > can revitalize this group because most online communities have moved
      > over to web-based social networking sites, blogs, and forums.
      >
      > Also, it is important that this group remain independent of any one
      > company in the digital publishing universe, so I will not turn over
      > control of this group to any committee that is mostly corporate-
      > influenced by one or a small number of commercial interests. This does
      > not mean the committee may not include any commercial interests -- it
      > may -- but I'd like the committee to be fairly balanced and broad-
      > based, to assure the independence of this group.
      >
      > And of course, I will assess if the proposed revitalization plan will
      > likely attract the digital publishing notables to join, follow, *and*
      > contribute to discussion. If I don't see in the proposal a good chance
      > of that happening, I'll turn down the proposed revitalization plan and
      > simply close doors.
      >
      > And, please, do not plead with me, in public or private, to
      > reconsider. Instead, if you really would like to see this group
      > continue uninterrupted, then work to bring together a
      > reorganizational steering committee as described above.
      >
      > If I don't see a viable reorganizational steering committee formed
      > within two weeks from today, I'll start the process to close this
      > group. If an acceptable committee does form, I'll give it two more
      > weeks to send me a proposed revitalization plan.
      >
      > If I do close this group, which now looks more likely than not, I
      > will send out a "goodbye" message similar to what John Mark Ockerbloom
      > did for Book People.
      >
      > Jon Noring
      > TeBC founder and administrator
      >




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • youthtopia
      ... Sad,sad news !!! There is an enormous amount of work involved in managing a successful group like this one, and Jon has done that work for many years. When
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 30, 2008
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        "Jon Noring" wrote:

        > Thus, I am contemplating closing this group in a fashion similar to
        > how John Mark Ockerbloom did for the Book People list: simply pulling
        > the plug and not supporting/endorsing any successor group.

        Sad,sad news !!!

        There is an enormous amount of work involved in managing a successful
        group like this one, and Jon has done that work for many years. When I
        was very active in this group, (too long ago) I remember admiring
        Jon's continual contributions. His posts about ebooks were profound,
        cutting-edge and worth saving; and he was always stepping in at the
        right time, to keep the discussions on task, and to promote a
        respectful dialogue between all the group members.

        Now John has asked for a proposal. I think that he is seeking more
        than some brave volunteers saying "I'll do it." ... He has asked for a
        thoughtful proposal to advance the group, to renew it, and to help the
        group fulfill its potential to best serve the 3300-odd members.

        What is written below is not the proposal Jon would like, I'm sure.
        This is only a handful of ideas for possible inclusion in that proposal.

        1) Move the TEBC group to Google Groups. ... Less spam there; and the
        discussion threads are all connected: they are not separate posts as
        in Yahoo groups. (There are a number of other benefits of Google
        Groups, too.)

        2) Begin an ebook blog, that highlights the most interesting posts
        from TEBC -- and from other ebook blogs and other sources in general.

        3) Develop an ebook knowledge-base ... If the blog were created using
        Wordpress.org, then the "pages" feature of the blog could hold the
        knowledge base. ...Another option would be to use a Wikipedia-like
        wiki system.

        4) Create a 5-person steering committe, who would actively manage this
        group, via regular video meetings using Skype, or other software. Some
        of these meetings would be closed to the members, others would be open
        to TEBC members.

        5) Offer 6 "webinars" every year, sponsored by TEBC, on different
        aspects of ebooks and epublishing. ... (A webinar is a live
        presentation broadcasted over the Internet, using software that allows
        thousands of persons to listen and watch simulaneously. It's like
        attending a lecture without leaving your computer.)

        6) Attract the "big players" in epublishing by offering them time and
        space on the webinars. And space in the TEBC blog. ... Write to the
        "big players" and ask them why they are not actively participating in
        TEBC.

        7) Send another survey to TEBC members, and ask what the group might
        offer to increase participation among the 3200 members who are listed
        but do not actively participate.

        8) Begin soliciting donations: of free web space for the blog, and of
        cash -- to fund various TEBC projects. Perhaps someones will donate
        ebooks, and TEBC members can get the ebooks free when the donate to TEBC.

        9) Connect TEBC with TeleRead.

        10) Most importantly: Find a way to keep Jon Noring actively involved
        in TEBC. Jon's experience and vision is necessary to take TEBC to the
        next level.

        These are ambitious suggestions, but I think that "thinking bigger" is
        what Jon had in mind. Not just to keep the group muddling along, but
        to renew it and expand it to meet the needs of the brave new
        epublishing future.

        Michael Pastore, Editorial Director
        Epublishers Weekly
      • Richard
        ... being ... groups, I ... I ... I don t really keep up with this group like I should. (I have had arthritis for about 44 years which doesn t help.) But I d
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 8, 2008
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          --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com, Marion Gropen
          <Marion.Gropen@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > On Nov 14, 2008, at 4:27 PM, mybebook wrote:
          >
          > > So here's where the sharks come out...
          > >
          > > The site hasn't even been shut down and takeovers are already
          being
          > > planned.
          >
          > It's not about sharks. For me, and I suspect the rest of the
          > volunteers, it's about being sure that this group we value doesn't
          > disappear. (And btw, I already run 2 of the 5 largest p-book
          groups, I
          > definitely don't really want to volunteer for another! That's why
          I
          > didn't pitch Jon to come on as a mod here.)
          >
          > So, Jon, maybe this group shouldn't go away after all?
          >
          > Marion Gropen
          > Gropen Associates, Inc.
          > By-The-Question Consulting, Tools for Publishers, & Classes
          > www.GropenAssoc.com
          > Her blog: www.GropenAssoc.com/blog
          >
          I don't really keep up with this group like I should. (I have had
          arthritis for about 44 years which doesn't help.) But I'd still be
          sorry to see the group go under.

          Rick Brooks
        • Jon Jermey
          Jakob Nielsen s AlertBox has a usability review of the Kindle this week: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/kindle-usability-review.html 11 years ago, I wrote that
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 9 12:36 PM
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            Jakob Nielsen's AlertBox has a usability review of the Kindle this week:

            http://www.useit.com/alertbox/kindle-usability-review.html

            "11 years ago, I wrote that electronic books were a bad idea. Has Kindle
            2 changed my mind?

            Yes."

            Jon.
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