Cory Doctorow: Importance of simplicity, usability in e-commerce

A quote from Cory Doctorow about simplicity on the web:

“Once your work gets into the right hands, there needs to be an easy way to consummate the relationship. A friend who runs a small press recently wrote to me to ask if I thought he should release his next book as a Creative Commons free download in advance of the publication, in order to drum up some publicity before the book went on sale.I explained that I thought this would be a really bad idea. Internet users have short attention spans. The moment of consummation — the moment when a reader discovers your book online, starts to read it, and thinks, huh, I should buy a copy of this book — is very brief. Thats because "I should buy a copy of this book" is inevitably followed by, "Woah, a youtube of a man putting a lemon in his nose!" and the moment, as they say, is gone.I know this for a fact. I review a lot of books on Boing Boing, and whenever I do, I link to the Amazon page for the book, using my "affiliate ID" in the URL. If you follow one of those links and buy the book, I get a commission — about eight percent. I can use Amazons reporting tool to tell exactly how many people click on my links, and how many of them shell out money for the book, and heres the thing: when I link to a book thats out soon, available now for pre-order, I reliably get less than ten percent of the purchases I get when I link to books that are available for sale now. Nine out of ten Boing Boing readers who buy books based on my reviews dont want to pre-order a title and wait for it to show up later.

The net is an unending NOW of moments and distractions and wonderments and puzzlements and rages. Asking someone riding its currents to undertake some kind of complex dance before she can hand you her money is a losing proposition. User-interface designers speak of how every additional click between thought and deed lops a huge number of seeds out of the running for germination.

via Locus Online Features: Cory Doctorow: Think Like a Dandelion.

BoingBoing reminded us of the dandelion idea in this post about Neil Gaiman’s talk on the future of publishing. Mr Gaiman talks about failing more etc – which is such a difficult idea for many large companies:

“When the rules are gone you can make up your own rules. You can fail, you can fail more interestingly, you can try things, and you can succeed in ways nobody would have thought of, because you’re pushing through a door marked no entrance, you’re walking in through it. You can do all of that stuff but you just have to become a dandelion, be wiling for things to fail, throw things out there, try things, and see what sticks. That was the thrust of my speech,” said the author.

http://boingboing.net/2013/04/22/gaiman-on-the-future-of-publis.html

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