Task 1

3 websites that are predominantly text based and comply with good “digital readability” design are:

1. www.thin.npr.org: The text only version of National Public Radio’s website offers news, radio program details, a full list of stations, transcripts of

parts of various programs, and other information. The pages load very quickly and don’t use tables or columns.

2. www.craigslist.org: The popular website CraigsList has classifieds, forums and event calendars for many different states and cities worldwide.

3. www.wikipedia.com

How Industries fall?

Its possible that large powerful organizations, with access to vast sums of money, and many talented, hardworking people, can simply disappear? Examples of such cases are General Motors, Lehman Brothers etc. At times its not just a single company that goes bankrupt, but rather an entire industry is disrupted.

According to Michael there are two common explanations for the disruption of industries like minicomputers, music, and newspapers.

The first explanation could be that the users in incharge are stupid or not capable and failed to see such a large organistation crumble.

Companies like itunes and last.fm are the wave of the future. Companies need to change and move with changes to adapt and succeed.

The second common explanation for the failure of an entire industry is that the people in charge are malevolent. In that explanation, evil record company and newspaper executives have been screwing over their customers for years, simply to preserve a status quo that they personally find comfortable.

Why online news is killing the newspapers

Some people explain the slow death of newspapers by saying that blogs and other online sources are news parasites, feeding off the original reporting done by the newspapers. That’s false. While it’s true that many blogs don’t do original reporting, it’s equally true that many of the top blogs do excellent original reporting. A good example is the popular technology blog TechCrunch, by most measures one of the top 100 blogs in the world. Started by Michael Arrington in 2005, TechCrunch has rapidly grown, and now employs a large staff. Part of the reason it’s grown is because TechCrunch’s reporting is some of the best in the technology industry, comparable to, say, the technology reporting in the New York Times. Yet whereas the New York Times is wilting financially [2], TechCrunch is thriving, because TechCrunch’s operating costs are far lower, per word, than the New York Times. The result is that not only is the audience for technology news moving away from the technology section of newspapers and toward blogs like TechCrunch, the blogs can undercut the newspaper’s advertising rates. This depresses the price of advertising and causes the advertisers to move away from the newspapers.

Is scientific publishing about to be disrupted?

  • Michael claims that in ten to twenty years, scientific publishers will be technology companies.


  • It will be driven as a technology driven company similar to Apple or Google.


  • Those publishers that don’t become technology driven will die off.


  • Websites have started up like SciVee (YouTube for scientists), the Public Library of Science, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, vibrant community sites like OpenWetWare etc. which are a beginning to the way the world is changing.


  • In music, they’re migrating to organizations like Apple. In books, they’re migrating to organizations like Amazon, with the Kindle. In many other areas of media, they’re migrating to Google: Google is becoming the world’s largest media company.


  • All these organizations are run by people with deep technical expertise.


  • When new technologies are being developed, the organizations that win are those that aggressively take risks, put visionary technologists in key decision-making positions, attain a deep organizational mastery of the relevant technologies, and, in most cases, make a lot of mistakes.

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