The e-book boom is coming! has this very interesting story.

Need more proof that we’re witnessing the beginning of the e-book boom? It appears that the Kindle version of The Lost Symbol, the latest thriller from The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, is out-selling the hardcover version on Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN). Kindle Nation Daily first noticed first noticed the trend by analyzing the category sales rankings on Amazon; the $9.99 Kindle version of the book is currently more popular than the hardcover version, which is retailing for $16.17.

Everything is changing VERY quickly. As more and more people get comfortable getting all their news and reading material on devices instead of paper, we’ll see an acceleration of the trend.

Publishers of magazines and newspapers need to pay attention here. Instead of wasting time wondering how to charge for online content, start thinking about ways to offer PREMIUM DELIVERY options that one can charge for.

I love to read the New York Times online or on my Blackberry, and that should be free. It’s news, and the Times wants to be a leader there, and you can’t maintain leadership if you hide behind a pay wall. On the other hand, I’d pay a small subscription fee to have the Times or may favorite magazines sent to my Kindle in an organized, readable format. This way I can read it at my leisure, regardless of whether I have an Internet connection.


Has Drudge jumped the shark?

No, we didn’t write this headline to please liberals. The Drudge Report is still a powerhouse with huge traffic. Yet things have changed, and the political landscape online is much more crowded, so Gillean Reagan recently asked whether the days of Drudge are over in a recent piece in The New York Observer.

For some, including the White House, the Drudge Report is still an online media powerhouse. The Drudge Report is No. 115 in Quantcast’s list of most popular sites, ranking higher than, and That’s 1.1 million visitors every day, each of whom refresh the page about 15 times in a 24-hour period, according to Quantcast.

But, contrary to what some might think, fewer and fewer of those visitors seem to be the journalists that were once so captivated by Matt Drudge—not to mention his vaguely terror-inducing headlines, taste for the obscure and occasionally spinning siren light. Is it because of increased competition online? Fewer scoops? Or simple Drudge fatigue?

Has Matt Drudge lost his edge?

“Obviously, when Drudge started in the ’90s, he was a kind of phenomenon,” said Peter Baker, who was the Washington Post’s White House correspondent during the Clinton years. “He invented this whole new way of getting information out there, and he changed the landscape of what the mainstream media did. Everyone was on Drudge, checking him every day.”

Even when the Drudge Report’s stories were sensationalized or unfounded, the urge to keep clicking was irresistible. “There was something very titillating about it because he didn’t have the same kind of limitations or standards that the old-style, I guess, media did,” he said.

New sites like the Huffington Post have certainly had some impact. Reagan notes the HuffPo passed Drudge in unique visitors for the first time in February 2008. Just having a liberal alternative for breaking news has probably had the greatest impact.

Reagan brings up the stale design as another factor, but I’m not buying that one. We’ve seen from Craigslist that a simple design can actually be an advantage.

Drudge is and will remain a powerhouse, it’s just not the only big boy in town any more.


The Beatles have arrived!

The Beatles new “Rock Band” video game launched today, and I can’t think of a better topic for our first post here at Linked and Loaded. We want to cover the new media revolution, and is there a better symbol than this new video game? Sure it’s not really a Web 2.0 powerhouse, but video games have become a constant feature in our lives and have influenced many of the new media developments in the past 30 years.

The game is getting great reviews as one might expect. Jason Zingale writes:

What ultimately makes the game so unique, however, is its presentation. Though The Beatles themselves look a little cartoony, it’s all done with the understanding that the game is more of a fantasy-based reality than a factual retelling of their history. That would certainly explain why there’s no mention of Stuart Sutcliffe or Pete Best, why some songs that were never performed live are on the set list for certain venues, or why Ringo is shown playing some songs at Abbey Road (like “Back in the U.S.S.R.”) that he never actually recorded. The psychedelic dreamscapes that the band is transported to during their Abbey Road sessions, meanwhile, are almost too stunning for their own good. I found myself often missing notes just because I was staring at the visually seductive environments meant to depict the band’s musical transformation during their later years, and for the diehard Beatles fan who thinks they know their music inside and out, you can even better appreciate the dreamscapes by turning off the scrolling notes.

The attention to detail doesn’t end there, either. Every song is prefaced by never-before-released audio clips of in-studio chatter, while Overdrive (the score multiplier you earn during each song) has been aptly changed to Beatlemania. Heck, there’s even an option to turn up the audience volume to “realistic” levels, making it virtually impossible to hear anything you play. That might not be enough for some people, who will likely be turned off by the all-too-brief Story Mode, but then again, they’re probably not real Beatles fans. Anyone that does like their music (and you’re in the minority if you don’t) will enjoy every second, because while the set list may feel a bit short at only 45 songs, nearly every one is better than a majority of the stuff in the “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” vaults. It’s the least you’d expect from a band as popular and prolific as The Beatles, but to see Harmonix so successfully translate the spirit of their music to video game form is almost beyond belief. Forget about ponies. You’re gonna dig this game.

Now, if we can only get The Beatles on iTunes!


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