Indesign Secrets Events

Tools of Change Round-up Day 1

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In the morning, I attended Practical Ebook Formatting: Limitations and Optimizations by Joshua Tallent (eBook Architects) and Phil Frank (Hendrickson Publishers). The overall message I got from this session was that when it comes to ebook formatting, we’re in something like the “browser wars” of the ’90s, with eReaders like the Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPad, etc standing in for Netscape and Explorer. Every device has its limitations and quirks, so you have to choose between tweaking and massaging content (and creating separate versions of it) for each device, or simply target which devices you’re willing to spend the time and effort developing content for and ignore the others.

Another recurring theme was in order to get content to render consistently without heinous errors, you may need to “dumb it down” considerably. Techniques that you never think of doing for print, like saving part of a page (including text) as a JPEG, and replacing em dashes with two hyphens, and curly quotes with straight quotes, may be the safest choice.

Joshua has created a substantial page of resources on his website, where you can follow links to more information on EPUB, Adobe Digital Editions, SVG, Kindle, etc. Of particular interest (at least to me) was a link to a video from last year’s Adobe MAX session by Colin Fleming on Creating ebooks from InDesign for Kindle, Sony Reader and iPhone.

My favorite afternoon workshop was Twitter Scorecard for Publishers by Mike Hendrickson (O?Reilly Media). Mike showed several tools and methods for measuring how effectively you’re using Twitter. Chief among these was the Twitter analytics site, Klout.com.  Klout measures a user’s influence on Twitter by calculating a Klout score, taking into account several factors, like the size of your engaged audience, your ability to generate retweets, how influential the people who re-tweet you are, etc. Klout thinks I’m just a “casual” Twitter user, but David and Fritz are “connectors.” Anne Marie is quite the “Persona.” Next time I see her, I’m going to ask Her Geekness for an autograph! ;)

Mike also used Wordle word clouds to analyze the character of Twitter feeds and suggested people check out resources like Twinfluence.com and InterTwitter.com.

  • Date: 11/26/2014
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