26 February 2009

"Pynchon likes the idea of talking to, listening to, or otherwise communing with animals."

…from the Pynchon-L email discussion:

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 23:22:16 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: kelber@mindspring.com
Subject: Re: Parrots in Pynchon

Pynchon likes the idea of talking to, listening to, or otherwise communing with animals. The talking sewer rat in V; William Slothrop and his pigs, Slothrop in the pig suit, the boy with the pet lemming in GR, talking dogs (in English or dog-speak) in M&D and ATD. Parrots afford him the opportunity to present talking animals in, if anything, a slightly more realistic, less magical form.


19 February 2009

"Public Media 2.0: Dynamic, Engaged Publics"

from: The Center for Social Media at American University School of Communication

If public broadcasting throws its weight behind social media, the results will be interesting to see. This report also represents a good overview of social media issues to consider now.

[photo from The Center for Social Media at American University School of Communication]

Here it is: our long-awaited white paper, Public Media 2.0: Dynamic, Engaged Publics. Co-authored by Future of Public Media Project Director Jessica Clark and Center for Social Media Director Pat Aufderheide, this report offers an expanded vision for public media: multiplatform, participatory, and centered around informing and mobilizing networks of engaged users. Showcasing trends and experiments from the "first two minutes" of public media 2.0, the report provides a map of opportunities and ways to make the most of them. It also suggests that public broadcasting could play a central role in public media 2.0—but only if the medium is properly restructured and supported.


Public broadcasting, newspapers, magazines, and network newscasts have all played a central role in our democracy, informing citizens and guiding public conversation. But the top-down dissemination technologies that supported them are being supplanted by an open, many-to-many networked media environment. What platforms, standards, and practices will replace or transform legacy public media?

This white paper lays out an expanded vision for “public media 2.0” that places engaged publics at its core, showcasing innovative experiments from its “first two minutes,” and revealing related trends, stakeholders, and policies. Public media 2.0 may look and function differently, but it will share the same goals as the projects that preceded it: educating, informing, and mobilizing its users.

Multiplatform, participatory, and digital, public media 2.0 will be an essential feature of truly democratic public life from here on in. And it’ll be media both for and by the public. The grassroots mobilization around the 2008 electoral campaign is just one signal of how digital tools for making and sharing media open up new opportunities for civic engagement.

But public media 2.0 won’t happen by accident, or for free. The same bottom-line logic that runs media today will run tomorrow’s media as well. If we’re going to have media for vibrant democratic culture, we have to plan for it, try it out, show people that it matters, and build new constituencies to invest in it.

The first and crucial step is to embrace the participatory—the feature that has also been most disruptive of current media models. We also need standards and metrics to define truly meaningful participation in media for public life. And we need policies, initiatives, and sustainable financial models that can turn today’s assets and experiments into tomorrow’s tried-and-true public media.

Public media stakeholders, especially such trusted institutions as public broadcasting, need to take leadership in creating a true public investment in public media 2.0.


  • Public media 2.0’s core function is to generate publics around problems.
  • Many-to-many digital technologies are fostering participatory user behaviors: choice, conversation, curation, creation, and collaboration.
  • Quality content needs to be matched with effective engagement. Public media projects can happen in any venue, commercial or not.
  • Collaboration among media outlets and allied organizations is key and requires national coordination.
  • Taxpayer funds are crucial both to sustain coordination and to fund media production, curation, and archiving.
  • Shared standards and practices make distributed public media viable.
  • Impact measurements are crucial.


  • Public media institutions and makers need to develop a participatory national network and platform; to cross cultural, social, economic, ethnic, and political divides; to collaborate; and to learn from others’ examples, including their mistakes.

  • Policymakers need to create structures and funding to support national coordination of public media networks and funding for production, curation, and archiving; to use universal design principles in communications infrastructure policy and universal service values in constructing and supporting infrastructure; to support lifelong education that helps everyone be media makers; and to build grassroots participation into public policy processes using social media tools.

  • Funders can invest in media projects that build democratic publics; in norms- setting, standardization of reliability tools, and impact metrics; and in experiments in media making, media organizations, and media tools, especially among disenfranchised communities.

Gigya, Twitter & Me: 7 Steps to Social Media Brand-building Success

We're using Twitter, Facebook, Flickr & more
to find the edgy young creatives who will champion
our Nonhuman Communications brand in socialmediaspace.
Graffiti stencil cut by Srayla Tip, illustrator of The Concrete Jungle Book.

Seven key brand-building lessons emerge from my encounter this week's with Gigya, http://www.gigya.com/default.aspx, on Twitter.com, leading to a conversation with the widget distribution company's president and co-founder, Rooly Eliezerov.

Be fearless. Gigya sees the value of participating in the emerging socialmediaspace, demonstrating a willingness to assign resources to a new branding theater of unproven value. Because they weren't afraid to explore this new online community, they have found in Twitter.com an important brand-building arena for start-ups, especially, but also for established brands. Gigya couldn't have discovered this had it taken the wait-and-see approach that many companies now exhibit towards Twitter and other new social media sites.

Don't just observe, pay close attention.
Gigya has been able to see past the apparent "chaos" of Twitter's chat room on steroids, realizing that they can learn a lot about the way their customers perceive their brand, simply by watching what people write about it in their tweets. Twitter's Search tool lets you find out which specific people are talking about a company and its topics of interest. Had Gigya NOT been paying attention to and particpating in the Twitter discussion, the company would have missed an opportunity to help me come to a better understanding of their product and service offerings. Not that I'm an important person, because I'm not, but because as leader of a breakthrough digital book publishing and technology start-up company I am building a significant online community comprising the next generation of Web architects, tool builders, and content creators.

Make discreet, respectful direct approaches to individuals who can help build – or hurt – your brand. Gigya took the time to read our "Digital Books in Social Media" article series, after we tweeted the link. A Gigya executive then sent our team leader a Direct Message to engage him in a conversation about why Gigya's "Post to" widget wasn't meeting our needs in our ambitious read/collaborate demonstration of how to publish digital books and engage customers online with social media and creative tools ongoing at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com. Make sure that you identify yourself clearly and say you are approaching the Twitter member as a representative of the brand. Twitter members are, unfortunately, used to being bombarded by Direct Messages from people trying to sell get-rich-quick scams and all the rest of the in-your-face sales pitches that U.S. citizens have already had the good sense to forbid telephone sales people to make. Make sure Twitter members don't have the opportunity to perceive your social media brand-building efforts in this light.

Listen patiently and carefully: social media gives every company employee, representative or other stakeholder, the opportunity to interact with customers as human beings. Your customers, and potential customers, come to social media to make connections and to interact with other humans. Make you participation in socialmediaspace personal, one-to-one, taking cues from your interlocutor about style (informal or formal) and content of what you say once you've initiated an online brand-building encounter. If the person you approach has been trash-talking your brand online, don't attack, that will probably just frustrate the person even more. If your brand isn't meeting this customer's needs, find out why. Listen carefully to determine if the customer has a legitimate complaint instead of immediately launching into a defense of the brand.

Spend time learning from a customer or potential customer who can articulate clearly the business challenges he or she faces, in order to discover how to improve your product, or to spot the potential for a new product or service offering. A really articulate and experienced customer can help you scope an upgrade or new launch strategy. If you wind up talking with somebody who really knows his corner of the marketplace, you may discover new markets and new, incremental revenue opportunities. Because it took the time to listen, Gigya was able to learn from us about the success we've had in identifying and creating online relationships with the emerging "young creatives" digital tribe who remain off the radar screen of most brand executives yet meet daily at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, at the intersection of book discussion, visual storytelling, comics, graffiti, streetart, edgy scrapbooks and mad painted poetry and art journals. In this community are the next generation of

After finding and creating relationships with customers on Twitter, and in other social media sites, give them ways and means to help evangelize your brand in socialmediaspace. On Twitter, prepare tweets that will appeal to the various constituencies you seek to influence, be sure they are easily "retweetable", and get them directly to the Twitter members who want to help you spread the word. You cannot pay for this kind of trusted, word-of-mouth referral, but you can enlist the support of these advocates. These are the people that we identified as "community captains" in oiur book, Firebrands: Building Brand Loyalty in the Internet Age by Michael Moon and Doug Millison. They usually don't want any form of payment. Instead, they derive satisfaction from helping to promote a brand they love, and from sharing their expertise and experience with other members of this brand-using community.

Accompany your customers, partners, allies, and detractors, in all the social media spaces in which they act. Gradually, a brand vendor can thus enmesh itself with a thriving community of human beings who will help find new markets and profit possibilities, and who will proactively work to build brand loyalty in socialmediaspace.

Our efforts in recent weeks at Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com have resulted in a virtual community that numbers more than 3,000 people who claim a relationship with our company, our book, or the characters in our book. This group includes many of the next generation of Web architects, tool builders, and content creators. Many of these individuals are actively evangelizing our project, helping us build our brand, bringing more potential customers to us, spreading the word about what we're doing and why it matters. Given our situation as a small start-up company, self-funded, on a shoestring, a wing, and a prayer, we have been happily surprised at the way these and other social media sites have helped us develop a brand reach far beyond what we expected at this point in our history.

Thank you for your kind attention.

All feedback welcome, Comments open!

18 February 2009


A collage of favorite images, some ours, some
gathered on the Web. (Attributions to follow.)
Created online at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com
You can tag it up at IN GUAD WE TRUST.

Gigya Using Twitter: A Brand-building Success Story

I received an object lesson yesterday in best practices for branding.

In my "Digital Books in Social Media" (http://nonhumancommunications.blogspot.com/2009/02/we-need-widget-how-readerco-creators.html ) article series I mentioned that we are using the Gigya widget ( http://www.gigya.com/public/Content/Widget.aspx )to let people share the the comic strips, scrapbook pages, and other creations they make with our Comicater annotation/illustration tag-it-up/mash up tools.

Specifically, I wrote that Gigya wasn't meeting our needs and that we are exploring the creation of our own widget to advance our project to bring digital books into social media.

Soon after, on Twitter.com, I received a Direct Message from somebody in Gigya management, who wanted to follow up to find out more. I replied that I would be happy to chat on the phone.

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to receive a telephone call from Rooly Eliezerov, President & Co-founder of Gigya. He wanted to hear about our experience straight from the horse's mouth.

He listened VERY PATIENTLY while I went into all kinds of unneccessary details about our project.

Understandable, he said, that as a fellow entrepreneur I would be excited to talk about my start-up project.

What a pleasure to talk to a fellow HUMAN being in this business context!

Mr. Eliezerov listened carefully to the details of what we want to do with Gigya, then let me know that they have resolved the issues that concerned us, in a revision due soon.

He also spent a generous amount of time looking at our site at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com. And he patiently explained the Gigya strategy of giving users free tools as a way to build revenues, when I asked about the Gigya business model.

Result: I've gone from being a reluctant user of Gigya's service to evangelizing them.

Rooly Eliezerov is a start-up company leader who seems to understand at a deep level, the brand-building power of simple human contact & being a good listener to a customer who hadn't yet found the solution he needs from this brand.

In recent weeks, I've been concerned about how we would meet our particular challenges and find the resources to build a widget to suit our specific needs. Because of this phone conversation, I'm no longer worrying about this issue, and can focus elsewhere.

I've been a publishing entrepreneur since the early 1990s, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I covered the high tech industry as a successful freelance journalist for some years prior to launching Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier, the first technical magazine for interactive multimedia desgners and developers in 1993 (http://MorphsOutpost.com).

I can count on one hand the number of times that I've been this impressed by a start-up's efforts to reach out to customers. That's why I've taken the time and trouble to tell this story and let people on Twitter know about it.

Thank you, Rooly Eliezerov & Gigya.

16 February 2009

Scrapbook Edge: where we mash up streetart, graffiti, mad painted poetry journals, sketchbooks, & comix

The new Scrapbook Edge blog is a place to share and discuss scrapbook pages with attitude…and, maybe, stretch the boundaries of what we can do with our scrapbook pages.

Yes, there is a Scrapbook Edge gallery at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, which displays the latest images created by Little Mo & the Nonhuman Crew (which can include you, too).

The blog focuses more on news of this emerging tribe, but also features photos/scans of physical scrapbook and digital scrapbook pages, as well as images of elements that could go on a scrapbook page.

We aim to enlarge the concept of what "scrapbook" can mean. Sterile, by-the-numbers, commercial scrapbooking does have the potential to unleash creative powers, but at the Scrapbook Edge we're looking for something more. Scrapbooks to reflect all the media we use, all the ways we look at the world.

Many photographers compose images that combine image, text, layers, memories in a single frame or snap. Artists transform walls and other public surfaces of an urban landscape into "pages" - a kind of a scrapbook, too.

Where to draw the line? Art journal? Collage? Altered book collage? Mixed-media? Comic strips at the bleeding edge? Who knows?

Eclectic. Authentic. Subversive.

Suggest a key word.

Scrapbook Edge

Hs1970.test15aug08 Example of an edgy scrapbook page by Morris Armstrong, Jr. proudly a.k.a. "Little Mo"
author of The Concrete Jungle Book, a new prose+comics scrapbook novel, first implementation of the new Social Media Scrapbook digital book format, previewing now in a read/collaborate demonstration at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

13 February 2009

Why Collage is Key and Scrapbooks are King in Social Media (#5 in the Digital Books in Social Media series)

Postcard uploaded then tagged-up/mashed up at
http://comicater.com/tcjb/studio.aspx?bid=4421 Click "Read Comments"
to see this modified version.

At our rough and ready, always-evolving, we-need-tech-help-with-this-puppy testbed/read-write Preview demo at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, we've watched hundreds of beta testers who interact with our digital prose+comics scrapbook novel and receive an inordinate amount of joy from the simplest of toys: an html tool that lets you slap one image on top of another.

A simple collage tool, in other words.

When we first realized that readers would want to interact online with a digital version our urban contemporary adaptation of Kipling's The Jungle Book – featuring Little Mo, a boy who grows up in the concrete jungle of Dallas as a graffiti writer, tattoo designer, then graphic novelists, protected by urban animals – we worried that we didn't have any sophisticated drawing tools for our reader/co-creators to use.

We figured they'd want to draw complex graffiti-style lettering and create from scratch the kind of detailed murals that they paint on city walls.

We were wrong.

Nobody asked for those tools.

And, when we studied web sites that were trying to attract wanna-be cartoonists with complicated, Flash-based drawing tools, we saw that the sites didn't really seem to be catching on.

After trying out these tools, we realized why. Too darn difficult and complicated. You'd have to be a professional cartoonist, almost, to make something that looks original and fresh. I spent hours trying to assemble characters and create stories in comic strip form, by piecing together body parts and props.

My business partner Doug Millison was teaching himself to draw with pencil, pen and ink, and he put his finger on the problem: "You might as well go whole hog and learn to draw with a pencil and a how-to book, for nearly the same amount of effort that it takes to create characters and stories with these web sites."

For user-contributed content that combines word and image – the sort of thing that streetartists and edgy scrapbookers and mad poet-painters do in the streets, their scrapbooks, and art journals every day – our experience shows that the simplest tools produce the biggest bang for the buck.

Why is collage the key and scrapbooks king when it comes to digital books in social media?

First, another question: How creative can you reasonably expect most people to be?

We agree with the notion that every individual has creative ability, and can learn to express it using a variety of tools across a spectrum of media. But, not everybody is equally creative.

Some people will be able to paint a masterpiece. Others will be able to make only a funny comment about it. Or draw a moustache on the Mona Lisa's upper lip.

Collage, while simple in principle – pieces of paper glued on a flat surface to create images - permits surprisingly sophisticated art works. All it takes is pieces of paper (clip art objects, in our version at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, supplied by us and uploaded as well by reader/co-creators) and some imagination.

Page through the "Berkeley Fantasy Tour" multi-page book that I put together from photos we took, then mashed them up with clip art provided at our site:


You can use the collage tool to add your own embellishments, too: click "Tag it up" and get after it. Register to create an account, and you can upload your own clip art under the My Images tab in the My Clip Art Library box to use for mash ups later. And, each time you create a comic or scrapbook page by uploading an image, that image remains available to tag onto a comic strip, cartoon panel, or scrapbook page.

Beta testers with no previous drawing or particular artistic skill look and tell us they feel creative while adding clip art or their own photos and other images, plus their words, on top of somebody else's comic strip, or on one of our The Concrete Jungle Book pages.

In our online tribe, edgy teenagers subvert Mom's (or Grandma's) cute scrapbook supplies. Some of them draw goofy comic strips and publish them on the Web?Many of them take photos or curate a Flickr image pool for art & healing journal fanatics, or a collection of streetart and graffiti photos.

They create and post wonderfully nuanced works - hundreds of them at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com in recent months - click "Book & Fan Gallery" and "Scrapbook Edge" to see the collection that continues to grow.

And even if somebody doesn't yet have the skills to create complex scrapbook pages or to draw their own comic strips, they can still collage their comments and photos and our clip art, feel creative while doing it, and produce something that will be fun for another reader/co-creator to tag up and mash up.

Look what some clever young person did to some The SuperFogeys comic strips that Brock Heasley posted at.

Click "Read Comments" & scroll down to see online.

Our beta testers can already use the Gigya widget to share a creation such as this in blogs, social media sites, via email – it's not the best solution, we want to build in our own as soon as we can, but we use it to publish creations from http://TheConcreteJungleBook here at this blog. Here's a collage mash-up by Cliffdwell, who uploaded a photo then slapped his graffiti tag on it:


We want to add more social media tools, to make it easier for our customers to use our digital book as a vehicle to find and connect with online friends. And, while we will add more creative tools as we are able, we will try to avoid overkill.

A reader/co-creator can already use the simple collage tools to create comic strips, scrapbook pages, and multipage illustrated books. Some of them are already doing it, amazingly creatives.

Here's the first page of a multipage book featuring murals by the amazing Estria Miyashiro, proprietor of Samurai Graphix in San Leandro, CA (they screenprint print our Little Mo and TCJB t-shirts)


And here''s what a creative reader/co-creator did to it with the tag-it-up collage tool.

To see this online, click http://comicater.com/studio.aspx?bid=2753
then click "Read Comments" and scroll down.

Sometimes, less is more.

We see our task as improving the power and quality of the creative tools we offer to reader/co-creators, but even more important is giving them more fun clip art to use in their impromptu tag-it-up, mash up collages.

Because we are artists, we can create our own clip art. We also use the incredible quantity and variety of high quality photos and other images available in the public domain. We license a lot of it from the Creative Commons collection at Flickr.com.

It's not the tools, it's how creatively you can use a simple tool to accomplish your objectives without more work and fuss than necessary.

So, let's not let the notion that young folks require super-sophisticated tools. Children, after all, often have the most fun with the simplest toy: a big, empty cardboard box, for example. Adults are easily amused, too.

Thank you for your kind attention. All feedback welcome.

Please pass along the url of this article to your friends:




Doug Millison & Sarah & the oysters. Where the
conversation began that continues in this "Digital
Books in Social Media" series.
Photo by Marc Canter,
blogged immediately
after he snapped it. Of course,
Little Mo had to get in the act, too. Took me 1 minute
to mash up their images with this photo using the
Comicater tools at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

Blackboard Jungle! in Cali & Big D

Scrapbook page from The Concrete Jungle Book
our new prose+comics scrapbook novel,
read/collaborate Preview available at
http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com (click for
larger version)

San Francisco isn't all that different from Dallas after all, especially the South Dallas/Oak Cliff area where I live.

Says here in the San Francisco Chronicle today that 900 high school and middle school students admitted carrying a guy to school at least once last year, while nearly twice that many more, 1767, admitted bringing another weapon like a knife or club.

Out of 21,000 students surveyed, 6 percent (455) of middle schoolers and 7 percent (923) of high schoolers said they are gang members.

8 percent of middle schoolers and 9 percent of high school students said they skipped school at least one day in the past 30 because they didn't feel safe at school.

"Hundreds went to class armed, S.F. study finds"
by Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 2009

"There is no lack of people who want to wear a penis costume in public."

[click image to see larger version]

"There is no lack of people who want to wear a penis costume in public," says Department of Public Health department spokeswoman Eileen Shields.

That would be the the 6-foot-tall Healthy Penis costume, sez the San Francisco Chronicle, which continues:

"Actually, there are three of them, and they'll make their reappearance at noon today at the corner of Castro and Market. The characters will appear with a fourth, much-less-attractive buddy, Phil the Syphilis Sore.

"Controversial when they debuted in 2002, the characters became popular and appeared around the city until 2006 to encourage gay and bisexual men to get tested for syphilis.

"Syphilis cases dropped over those years, and the penis costumes were borrowed by other cities to promote testing for sexually transmitted diseases. But now the Department of Public Health is bringing them back because syphilis cases are again on the rise, up 50 percent from 2007 to 2008."

Mascot exposes itself to promote sexual health
by Heather Knight, C.W. Nevius, Audrey Cooper, Chronicle Column
Friday, February 13, 2009

12 February 2009

new Scrapbook Edge gallery at http:/TheConcreteJungleBook.com


You can also go to http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com and click the "Scrapbook Edge" button under the top banner.


What do people want to do with books in socialmediaspace? #4 in the Digital Books & Social Media series

Sarah knows her oysters, at the Walnut Creek Yacht
Club, and Marc Canter,
behind the camera,
knows the Web & multimedia. Even Little Mo gets
in the act, after a little tag-it-up, mash-it-up, took me
a couple of minutes to add the clip art from The
Concrete Jungle Book with the simple collage tool
at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

Way back in the early 90s when we first started getting all hot and bothered about connecting with friends and family on the Web… when folks like my old friend Marc Canter were making multimedia possible… when not many people if any besides David Siegel were publishing "Web-based diaries"… we got excited about the potential of digital books, too.

Many a mind-boggling interactive multimedia CD-ROM crossed my Editor-in-Cheese desk at Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier magazine (see http://MorphsOutpost.com tribute site) Seemed clear to me then that, with authoring tools like the ones that Marc Canter and others were building, the next Great American Novel might just be published first on CD-ROM.

That didn't exactly happen, but both digital books and interactive multimedia came to stay.

Only after blogging enabled easy online multimedia publishing did people start expressing themselves in words and images the way I expected they would when interactive multimedia CD-ROMs were first taking off.

At lunch the other day, Marc Canter reminded me of the old saying. In any given group online you're going to have 90 percent lurkers, 9 percent will make a comment now and again, but only 1 percent will contribute significant content.

We were talking about digital books, with a focus on fiction and what people want to do with digital fiction online, in socialmediaspace.

Online, we can buy books, discuss them, read book reviews. We can read digital books online and we can use a variety of research and documentation tools with some digital books.

Far less than what we do with printed books, in other words. And you can't even do all of those things in one place online, not easily, and certainly not in the newer turf of social media Web sites. You find them in fragments, scattered across the Web.

I don't mean to discount the many projects and experiments that have shown a wider range of ways to interact with digital books online. Despite their promise, the capabilities they demonstrate have yet to enter the mainstream.

In the analog world, we read books and talk about them with our friends. If we're serious readers, we may take notes (and record them in a blog). We may collect images of people, places, and things in the real world that we also know in books. Lots of us join book clubs and bring our books – sometimes overflowing with our notes and photos and such – with us to the discussion.

I know of only one place online where I can do all of those things right now in one place: our rough and evolving http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com read/collaborate demonstration/testbed.

There, hundreds of people have paged through the Preview of our book and have used our simple tools to annotate the page images with their words and uploaded images.

We haven't implemented email or direct messaging yet, but Little Mo's online friends already communicate with each other via these annotations. That's what young graffiti writers and streetartists do, too, as they paint and scribble and paste up and stencil their manifestos to the world and messages to each other, on the walls of every city and town.

In previous posts in this series on Digital Books in Social Media, I addressed the need to add a range of social media tools to digital books, as Marc Canter suggests we do with everything online if we want to realize the potential of social media in the Web.

Marc and I also had a lively discussion the other day about how to present digital books online, how to let people interact with characters, settings, weave in and out of the plot, and how to handle all that in a flexible, robust online architecture. Marc knows what he's talking about, he's one of the people who started trying to do that back in the day, even before Morph's Outpost.

I told him I think we've seen that outside the realm of gamers and dedicated fanfiction writers, there don't seem to be that many people who want to interact with fiction online to that degree.

Most of us don't write books, after all. But we've all got opinions about books, and can rank them according to our preferences. Social media tools let us do that.

And, I think just about everybody could and would want to contribute to a book, the right book, that is.

Digital books in social media should also come with the tools necessary for a reader to contribute to the discussion that the book begins.

Let readers add text comments, and let them also annotate and illustrate the online book's pages with images, videos, audio and music files – all the multimedia that the Web now puts at our disposal.

Let these reader/co-creators print and purchase for themselves – and for their friends, colleagues, the great reading public – copies of the book they have thus extended and personalized to suit their needs.

If the authors, editors, and publishers of the book permit, the same tools can allow an ambitious and creative reader to join the team and contribute ideas and content to a future new edition of the book to be published online as well as printed for distribution out there.

That's what we're doing with The Concrete Jungle Book where the url on the cover takes you straight to http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com.

Online, our readers already use the simplest of collage tools to talk back to the digital book, to talk with each other about the digital book, to annotate and illustrate the digital book, to share their annotations/illustrations on the Web in blogs, social media sites, and via email.

We're already interacting with artists and writers who are helping to shape a sequel, TCJB Scrapbook Edge, to be published this year alongside The Concrete Jungle Book.

Little Mo made too many scrapbook pages to fit in the TCJB first edition, so he's putting the overflow into a new book, TCJB Scrapbook Edge. He invited his edgy scrapbooker, artist, photographer, designers, and mad poet friends to add their scrapbook pages to the mix.

Half a dozen have already committed to the book since we announced it a few days ago. We're already laying out the book and will add contributed art as it's ready.

At the right moment, not many months from now, we'll be able to push the button and publish via print-on-demand, the same way we created the uncorrected galley proofs for The Concrete Jungle Book that they're reading down in Hollywood right now.

These creative young people may not be ready to create a whole book, but they've got what it takes to add a scrapbook page to Little Mo's next book.

Let that serve as an example to the rest of us.

Thank you for your kind attention. All feedback welcome.

Please pass along the url of this article to your friends:


Next in the series:

"Why Collage is Key and Scrapbooks are King in Social Media"

Marc Canter on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Canter
Read Marc's blog http://blog.broadbandmechanics.com/
Learn about the Open Mesh in a fun video, http://blip.tv/file/1377855
Buy & read his state-of-the-art book,
How to Build the Open Mesh

11 February 2009

The Method We've used to build a 3,000-strong virtual community in less than 2 weeks

1. Keyword search at Flickr.com, looking for Groups and specific individuals interested in stuff that we have a lot of in The Concrete Jungle Book:

Streetart & graffiti creators & afficionados
Edgy Scrapbookers
Comics creators & lovers
Graphic Novelists & fans
Novels of High-Adventure
Classic Literature for Young Readers
The Jungle Book
martial arts
nonhuman communications & consciousness
therapeutic dolphin encounters
South Dallas/Oak Cliff, Texas
troubled teens

2. We created some Flickr groups and started inviting people to join.

3. Using the same keywords, we searched the Twitter archive, found people with Profiles that suggested they might be interested in some of these topics, studied their linked Web sites to make a further determination.

4. We started following these tweeps, interacting with them as possible, retweeting items of interest for our followers. Some of them responded, followed back. Some didn't. So we move on, searching for more people, following, no spam but instead a personal effort to connect, move on if interaction doesn't follow.

All evidence suggests that 1 person and a time, we are meeting a lot of cool people who share our core interests. As we begin interacting and learning from each other at Twitter, some of them wind up visiting our site at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, where traffic has increased dramatically in the past 2 weeks.

It's hard work, and I can't see how to automate the most important part: studying social media Profile pages and Web sites to see if people appear likely to want to be in touch with us in the first place.

Nothing I hate more than a "cold call", thus we've developed this method to get in touch with people who may have a genuine interest in hearing from us – but without spam or other heavy-handed tactics.

So far, it seems to be working. A small but thriving community that's growing hourly.

Thanks for your kind attention. Please pass along the url of this article to your friends.

We Need a Widget: How reader/co-creators help create a sequel to The Concrete Jungle Book & grow the tribe (# 3 in series)

[please click image to see a bigger version]

When my business partner Doug Millison co-founded Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier magazine in 1993, he did it to recognize and serve an emerging tribe of interactive multimedia designers, developers, producers, tool makers, visionaries. They came from Hollywood, from video games, from training and education, from the computer industry, to create a new kind of software and to deliver it on new platforms. See the http://MorphsOutpost.com anniversary blog we published last year.

Heady days, indeed. At the Art Teco conference that convened at Fort Mason Center on San Francisco's waterfront the day O.J. made his most famous run, many ideas and business proposals were first discussed, which only now are becoming real in Web 2.0, in socialmediaspace. Some of the concepts discussed that day almost 15 years ago won't see light of day until Web 3.0.

Morph's Outpost
existed to serve this new tribe.

To give them a platform where they could talk to each other, exchange technical insights and how-to.

"Written by developers for developers" was their editorial law, and in fact their wizard multimedia producer readers contributed virtually all of the editorial content, with help from an eager but minuscule editorial staff.

People like Marc Canter and the other cross-fertilizing geniuses who got this business started, who had helped to make multimedia possible in the first place, as discussed in earliers posts stemming from our meeting with Marc yesterday.

Doug Millison & Sarah & the oysters
Photo by Marc Canter, blogged immediately
after he snapped it. Of course, Little Mo had to get
in the act, too. Took me 1 minute to mash up their images
with this photo at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

Now we've identified a new, and far larger tribe, and engage them daily in our crude but effective and always evolving test site, http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

We used Flickr to identify dozens of groups and hundreds of individuals of people who appear to share our love of graphic novels and comics, streetart, and edgy scrapbooking. We figured if they liked to do the same things that we like and write about in our book, they are likely to enjoy reading this prose+comics scrapbook novel.

We manually searched and read thousands of Web sites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter profiles, and identified hundreds more specific individuals likely to enjoy The Concrete Jungle Book. We started inviting them to come and Preview our book online.

This tribe wants more than Little Mo and The Concrete Jungle Book, of course.

As we move into the next phase of our roll-out, I'll be taking a more active role to guide you to other great graphic novels, comics, webcomics.

We've already begun giving our readers social media tools we're building to help our readers find friends for discussion and online fun, at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com plus creative tools they can use to mash up their art and words with the pages of our book, in the read/collaborate Preview now underway.

Hundreds of the more ambitious and creative members of our tribe have found us early on and gave us valuable feedback, through our read/collaborate Preview at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com. We're incorporating it the "1st Edition" now in production. You know who you are.

More of you have offered to contribute your edgy scrapbook pages and art work to TCJB SCRAPBOOK EDGE, which I announced the other day, http://nonhumancommunications.blogspot.com/2009/02/publish-your-art-in-our-new-tcjb.html

Next up: our tribe is going to help me, Steve Porter, Doug Millison, Srayla Tip, and the rest of the Nonhuman Crew, to help shape the sequel to The Concrete Jungle Book.

This may be a first. We hope you'll join our project. You're invited.

Oh Yeah, the Widget

Next, we're going to make it easy for them to pass along our top content, the fruit of our effort as curators, with a widget that they can use in their blogs, social media profile pages, Web sites, and elsewhere in socialmediaspace.

Because our tribe, though emerging, remains somewhat hidden. How many edgy teenagers are already subverting Mom's cute scrapbook supplies? Drawing goofy comic strips and publishing them on the Web? Curating a Flickr image pool for art & healing journal fanatics, or a collection of streetart and graffiti photos?

It takes one to know one. They know who Little Mo needs to know. And, based on the way they're helping already, at Facebook, at Twitter, at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, I think they want to do this and more, the more we can give them tools and fun reasons to do it.

What do you think? Would you like to help? All comments and feedback welcome. Leave comments here. Direct message my partner, http://twitter.com/dougmillison or email pynchonoid@yahoo.com.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Scrapbook page of presentation we gave to
Marc Canter this week.

Marc Canter on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Canter
Read Marc's blog http://blog.broadbandmechanics.com/
Learn about the Open Mesh in a fun video, http://blip.tv/file/1377855
Buy & read his state-of-the-art book,
How to Build the Open Mesh

Young Creatives Want Social Media Scrapbooks part 2, "Digital Books, Social Media, and the Open Mesh"

Doug Millison & Sarah & the oysters
Photo by Marc Canter, blogged immediately
after he snapped it. Of course, Little Mo had to get
in the act, too. Took me 1 minute to mash up their images
with this photo at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

My Nonhuman Communications partners and I did not set out to create a new kind of book, or a new kind of online reading experience for social media.

We started with a character, a story, and a vision for a book.

In the process of collaborating online on the project, co-writer Steve Porter, illustrator Srayla Tip, and I discovered that we needed social media tools and online creative tools to write, edit, and publish the book that we envisioned.

The Concrete Jungle Book is what we call a prose+comics scrapbook novel. TCJB mashes together:

--100 pages of traditional prose narrative, presenting the story from the human POV of Little Mo, his family, and friends.
--100 pages of visual storytelling, comic book style, that presents the story from the POV of the nonhuman characters - urban animals who help Little Mo in his quest for revenge against Sherikano and his nonhuman avatar Shere Khan the Tiger.
--100+ scrapbook pages, collages containing photos, drawings, diary extracts, quotes and factoids copied from Little Mo's favorite books, clipped from magazines and newspapers and from online sources.

Co-author Steve Porter lives in Oak Cliff, Texas. Srayla Tip and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. We used Google Docs to view and agree on revisions to prose narrative, comics, and scrapbook pages.

Next, we brought a small group of designers, artists, and book industry professionals to review our evolving draft. They provided feedback directly in our Google Docs pages, and by email. We also showed them hardcopy in person. We incorporated many of their suggestions in the Adobe InDesign book layout.

We wanted to get feedback from as many readers as possible in our target audience, too. Would they enjoy our prose+comics scrapbook novel hybrid?

Enter Chen Xiang, a Web developer then working at Art.com. Xiang had developed a simple tool to create comic strips and single panel cartoon by uploading photos or other images, then slapping on word balloons, captions, and text. HTML, not flash. He calls it Comicater.

Chen Xiang built a test site for us at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com where we could display the pages of our first draft as a series of jpgs, and use Xiang's tool to let our Beta testers add Comments by typing in a text box, AND by adding new graphical elements, collaging their visual suggestions right on top of our digital page image.

We used Flickr to identify groups and individuals of people who appeared to share Little Mo's love of graphic novels and comics, streetart, and edgy scrapbooking. We figured if they liked to do the same things that Little Mo does, they are likely to enjoy reading his novel. We manually searched and read thousands of Web sites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter profiles, and identified hundreds more specific individuals likely to enjoy The Concrete Jungle Book. We started inviting them to come and Preview our book online.

After the San Francisco Chronicle published a favorable article about our project in July last year, and after BoingBoing.net linked to our site in August, traffic increased.

By now we have assembled a virtual online community that numbers more than 2,500 people who claim a relationship with Little Mo, our book, our Nonhuman Communications project. And they tell us they are ready to buy our book, t-shirts, and related products. We're nearly ready to start selling them, too.


By definition a scrapbook can display a variety of elements, visual and textual, taken from their original contexts and presented in the scrapbook as part of the story the scrapbook creator is telling.

"Scrapbooking" is what people have been doing online for several years, in our view, as they combine multiple media types and content in Web sites, blogs, social media site profiles.

The printed version of The Concrete Jungle Book will go into bookstores and other retails locations where customers will buy it, beginning later this year. We are still looking for publishing and co-marketing partners to help us with this part of the project.

The printed book takes customers to http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com where they can meet fellow readers, discuss the book with them, become friends with them in the social media way as they thus connect via shared interests. There they already use a prototype version of our first Social Media Scrapbook.

We will also publish TCJB in a digital version, available online in our Web site, and in a Facebook version. We will test various price points, from free to premium. Plus iPhone, Kindle, and on other relevant platforms.

In the fully developed Social Media Scrapbook version of The Concrete Jungle Book, readers from our tribe not only read and discuss the book online, they can chat with Little Mo and the other characters via IM-style messages. While they enjoy the book online, solo or together with friends, they can also listen to a soundtrack they create from their own song playlists.

These young reader/co-creators show Little Mo what they can do by adding their own art and words right on top of Little Mo's digital pages. They see how their friends have tagged up, mashed up, annotated, illustrated the book pages, and, like graffitiwriter streetartists, they "tag up" their friends' creations by slapping more art and text on top. The same way that fresh air, impromptu collages appear on the walls in public spaces, as artists add their tags, stickers, paste-ups, in assymetical collaboration.

The same way that streetartists can come together to plan and paint a mural, reader/co-creators can meet to co-author and co-edit their additions to The Concrete Jungle Book. Some of them use our site to create cartoons, comic strips, and multi-page graphic novels that have nothing to do with TCJB - they simply enjoy the creative process and sharing the results with their friends.

They are doing it online right now, in the rough prototype version of this vision, at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com.

In our vision, a printed copy of the Social Media Scrapbook is a treasured souvenir of a rich social media experience that includes reading, discussing with friends, and creative sell-expression and creative collaboration.

We will also let reader/co-creators add their own pages to create, and purchase via print-on-demand, a personalized version of The Concrete Jungle Book. Instead of paying $20 for a trade edition, they can create their own front and back cover, add pages, do whatever they like, then order a print-on-demand copy for a premium price, with profit margin that will make traditional book publishers drool.

In fact, we have the capability to do this now with the same P.O.D. vendor we used to print galley proof copies of the TCJB Beta edition. We have the ability to insert reader art contributions and print out a personalized copy on demand. This is currently a clumsy, kludgy process that we need to streamline and automate more fully.

Our reader co-creators will also be able to sell their own creations, and mash-ups made with TCJB art and text, via print-on-demand, with Nonhuman Communications, and its publishing partners, collecting a commission for making that possible.

They also tell us, when they visit http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, that they want TCJB t-shirts, caps, posters, blank scrapbooks to collect print-outs the pages they create with us online. They want to read and purchase other graphic novels, comic books, and novels by other authors and artists. We will accommodate their desires.

Now we need to improve the site, add more and better social media tools, add more and better creative tools. We need help to do this, and actively seek partners to help us do this. Our goal is to use Marc Canter's vision of the Open Mesh to make The Concrete Jungle Book, and its sequels, available in socialmediaspace everywhere.

We are a small team of writers and artists. Would you like to help us take this project to the next level?

If you're interested, contact Doug Millison by email, dougmillison@comcast.net, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dougmillison. Follow me, http://twitter.com/LittleMo92

Thank you for your kind attention.

Next in the series:
We Need a Widget: How Reader/Co-creators are helping to create the sequel to The Concrete Jungle Book & helping to grow the community.

See it live on the Web right now:
http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, read/collaborate Preview of a new prose+comics scrapbook novel ("graphic novel on steroids") demonstrating key elements of the emerging digital book for social media, what we call a Social Media Scrapbook.

The Concrete Jungle Book: A different animal
by Trevor Hunnicutt, San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, July 3, 2008

The scrapbook presentation page for our lunch
with Marc Canter yesterday.

10 February 2009

Digital Books, Social Media, and the Open Mesh, (1st in series)

Little Mo here, continuing my San Francisco Bay Area tour with mentor & business partner, Doug Millison.

Today we met multimedia innovator & Web visionary, Marc Canter, to talk about our Nonhuman Communications publishing project.

Marc Canter
photo from his blog

This is the first in a series of blog posts about Digital Books, Social Media, and the Open Mesh.

Doug and Marc met in the early 1990s, after Doug co-founded and edited Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier (http://MorphsOutpost.com), a technical magazine in the form of an underground newspaper. Morph's Outpost identified and served the emerging "tribe" of artists, storytellers, movie makers, educators, and tool makers, who came together to create interactive multimedia software and publish it on CD-ROM and online.

Well before the Information Superhighway became the metaphor, Canter was helping pave the way for multimedia on personal computers, on the Web, and now in socialmediaspace. In June 1994, Canter featured prominently in the seminal ART TECO conference at Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, that Doug organized with his Morph's Outpost colleagues, for the emerging multimedia designer/developer tribe.

Doug Millison & Sarah & the oysters
Photo by Marc Canter, blogged immediately
after he snapped it. Of course, Little Mo had to get
in the act, too. Took me 1 minute to mash up their images
with this photo at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

I, Little Mo, was a mostly fly on the wall at today's meeting.

Although, I observe that it's my tribe -- the emerging community of young (and young at heart) streetartists and graffiti writers, cartoonists, edgy scrapbookers, funky art journal writer-painters, Moleskine sketchbook sketchers graphic novelists, mad poets, film makers, musicians, podcasters, bloggers, and the rest of you do-it-yourself, hands-on, boundary-crossing, digital/analogue creative tribe -- that lurked around the edges of their animated, arm-waving, exhilarating discussion this afternoon.

My tribe: teenagers and 20-somethings, mostly, screenagers every one. We use iPhones and iPods, WiFi, DVDs. Some of us like books, some don't. But we love to interact with cool Web editorial and visual content. When given a chance, we love to read, discuss, and play with books online. That's what we're doing together at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com prototype right now.

We met for lunch at the Walnut Creek Yacht Club. Not a boat in sight but amazing seafood.

Marc had proposed the following menu:

Order - Intro to the issues
Appetizers - Background
Entree- Brainstorming
Dessert - Hypothesis - Float a Solution

Doug Millison & Sarah & the oysters
Photo by Marc Canter, blogged immediately
after he snapped it. Of course, Little Mo had to get
in the act, too. Took me 1 minute to mash up his image
with this photo at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

Order - Intro to the issues

Our delightful waitress, Sarah described in delicious detail each of the dozen varieties of oysters on offer, Marc ordered half a dozen of the creamy Kumamotos and half a dozen of the briny Cortez Island. As we reveled in the oysters, followed by perfect deep-fried calimari, Doug outlined our Nonhuman Communications vision for books in socialmediaspace.

Appetizers - Background

Millions of books have been digitized, we can buy them an discuss them online. Yet people can't use books in social media environments the way they use photos, video, and audio/music content.

We're building into digital books a set of social media tools, such as people already use in Facebook, Flickr, and other social networking sites. First efforts at our prototype Web site are rough and ready, but enough to show the potential…and some surprising results.

Thus books can serve -- as photos, videos, and music files already do -- as vehicles to help readers connect with people in social media environments.

With built-in social media tools, the digital book helps previously isolated readers find like-minded friends, people who are reading the same or similar books.

The digital book in socialmediaspace comes equpped to connect readers with the online equivalent of the book clubs they enjoy out there in the dead tree/meatspace world and other online versions of their favored activities with books.

For example, in the fleshworld, book club members bring to their discussions their books all stuck full of Post-It's and hand-written marginalia noting points to discuss, post cards and photos of places mentioned in the book that the reader has visited or researched, & etc.

What do you do with all that stuff when you're meeting other book lovers online, in socialmediaspace?

We believe that when you read a digital book online it should also include creative tools that let you annotate, manipulate, and play with the digital book the same way you can now play with digital photos, video, and audio/music in social media environments online.

Mash it up, mix it up, tag it, the way streetartists and graffiti writers create and collaborate as they move through the streets of the city.

Tools to let the reader annotate and illustrate the digital book. Tools that let the reader share these annotations and illustrations with friends and colleagues in social media environments online.

Readers become co-creators, in other words, adding their textual and visual comments to the pages of the digital book, sharing them with friends.

In the right environment – the simple test-bed site at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, the first Nonhuman Communications implementation of a digital book for social media – readers can use these same annotation/illustration tools to create and publish their own digital books in our Web site, too. They are doing it right now.

The digital media book with social media tools lets previously passive book consumers become co-creators, authors, and publishers.

Entree- Brainstorming

As we feasted on West Indian "Pepperpot" soup, and fresh fish entrees, Marc led some serious brainstorming.

Structured content. Consistent, persistent tags. Digital book equivalents to photo collections and playlists. Everything a url that lives in the "cloud" so it can be reconfigured to meet future needs as they arise. How to build a digital book platform that takes advantage of the 2-way API's that Marc proposes to connect today's social media islands and silos. How to prepare to sort reader contributions into a wiki, how to prepare for applications we don't know about yet because they haven't been invented.

We'll dig into these topics in future posts. Marc explains many of them in detail in his book, How to Build the Open Mesh, and in the video of his recent conference presentation in Rotterdam, linked below.

Suffice to say, we've got our work cut out for us at Nonhuman Communications. But we're on the right path.

We've already gathered a small but growing tribe and have engaged them on http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, at Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and elsewhere in socialmediaspace.

Some 2,500 souls claim some kind of relationship with me, Little Mo, with our book The Concrete Jungle Book, with our Nonhuman Communications project.

At http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, and soon in a Facebook version of the Web site, members of our growing online tribe read the Beta edition and use simple annotation/illustration tools, to move from passive media consumption to active co-creation and collaboration, as reader/co-creators add their images and words, mashing up our book's pages with their own content.

These tribe members/readers/online co-creators & collaborators have already given us priceless feedback to the Beta edition -- feedback we've incorporated in the 1st Edition that we're preparing now for publication, in print for bookstore distribution and digital for iPhone, Kindle, and other relevant delivery devices, later this year.

We know the target audience loves our book, because they've helped us to fine-tune and shape it, and we've added our own artistry and imagination to exceed their expectations.

That's how we figured out that digital books need social media tools, and annotation/illustration tools in the first place, in the process of collaborating online – Steve Porter, Doug Millison, and me, Little Mo – to create the first draft, then inviting our friends to help us make it better with their feedback, delivered online as we began giving them simple tools to enable the feedback.

In other words, we're already demonstrating online, a live community of readers who are using a prototype of the digital book for social media. A rough prototype, but the functions can be seen.

Dessert - Hypothesis - Float a Solution

Sweet comes last, simple flan and fantastic chocolate mousse…and talk of monetization. Marc drilled into the four major revenue streams we've identified that flow from and through this new kind of digital book in socialmediaspace.

We've got our work cut out for us there, too. But, again, we're on the right path. The tools and technology we need are out there to implement our vision and carry it to fruition, beyond the rough and ready prototype that serves as the test bed at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com.

In the next blog post in this series, we explain why the interactive scrapbook is the digital book format that our tribe prefers, and how the simplest of online creative tools can serve our tribe members' most complex creative needs.

After lunch, Marc drove us in his amazing Checker taxi cab – yes! big enough for a party inside – to our car, and we reached our overarching conclusion:

We believe that as digital books move into social media, we come full circle. McLuhan observed that before the printing press, readers were writers, copying and compiling books in manuscript, or hiring scribes to do it.

With the printing press, authors emerged, and readers became mostly passive consumers.

Now, in online social media environments, readers once more become writers, illustrators, authors.

We're demonstrating it right now.

Thank you for your kind attention. We look forward to your Comments and Questions.


Here's the scrapbook page we made for today's discussion with Marc Canter:

Contact Doug by dougmillison@comcast.net, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dougmillison. Follow me, http://twitter.com/LittleMo92

, live Preview of a new prose+comics scrapbook novel ("graphic novel on steroids") demonstrating key elements of the emerging digital book for social media, what we call a Social Media Scrapbook.

Marc Canter on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Canter
Read Marc's blog http://blog.broadbandmechanics.com/
Learn about the Open Mesh in a fun video, http://blip.tv/file/1377855
Read his state-of-the-art book, How to Build the Open Mesh http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/564581

Walnut Creek Yacht Club
1555 Bonanza St
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(925) 944-3474

08 February 2009

Publish your art in our new TCJB SCRAPBOOK EDGE book, for FREE

view profile

http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com is a group administrator http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com Pro User says:


a print-on-demand book/online project

edited by Morris Armstrong, Jr. proudly a.k.a. Little Mo, Doug Millison, and Steve Porter.

Little Mo here, inviting you to participate, at no cost, FREE, no gimmicks, no strings, in

THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK SCRAPBOOK EDGE, a new print-on-demand, collaborative book project.

TCJB SCRAPBOOK EDGE includes a series of scrapbook pages/collage works that we've decided to publish separate from THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK prose+comics scrapbook novel, the 350 page graphic novel on steroids that's coming later this year.

Scrapbook pages and other contributed art works should express a mix of urban, industrial, natural imagery plus the strong, authentic emotions that characterize the scrapbook aesthetic of THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK.

By publishing via print-on-demand, we can easily add pages from more artists as they decide they want to get involved. We will simply update the book pdf with new pages and the revised edition will immediately be available to purchase from the print-on-demand vendor.

Depending on how many other artists choose to include their pages, TCJB SCRAPBOOK EDGE will be between 50-100 pages, full color, 8" X 10" paperbound, printed by ComiXpress.com. Cost will be between $8 - $12 per copy, not including shipping.

Contributing artists will be responsible for obtaining and submitting high-quality, high-resolution images of their works, suitable for publication. We will provide specifications.

Contributing artists can purchase multiple copies to sell to their friends.

The idea is to create a cool book and use it as a calling card for our other projects.

If demand develops and more people want to purchase copies, we can fairly share profits among contributors. All fair, open, transparent.

Contributing artists retain ownership and control of their art works, granting only rights relevant and necessary to this project.

My partner Doug Millison has founded and managed substantial publishing projects, see http://MorphsOutpost.com as a good example with design relevance to this project.

We will design and get the book ready to print. The design will fit the look & feel of THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK which you can Preview in this web site. You can see more examples of edgy scrapbook art at the Flickr group Scrapbook Edge that I started http://www.flickr.com/groups/scrapbookedge/

TCJB SCRAPBOOK EDGE will also include images of streetart/graffiti pieces, sticker combo collaborations, & etc. This is an important part of the mix.


Srayla Tip illustrator of THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK

Fred "Sundanse" Gromadski of Oakland AS Crew, creator of Adventures of Morph comic strip, http://MorphsOutpost.com

Jiri Szeppan, Royal Belgian Film Museum http://www.flickr.com/photos/jiriszeppan/

Doug Millison, co-author THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK

Steve Porter, co-author, THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK

More artist announcements to come. Stay tuned.

First Edition of TCJB SCRAPBOOK EDGE to be published via print-on-demand this Spring 2009.

Send email to my partner pynchonoid@yahoo.com if you are interested, or Direct Message to http://twitter.com/dougmillison or me, http://twitter.com/LittleMo92.

About Scrapbook Edge
Scrapbook Edge a place to share and discuss scrapbook pages with attitude…and, maybe, stretch the boundaries of what we can do with our scrapbook pages. The group pool features photos/scans of physical scrapbook & digital scrapbook pages & elements that could go on a scrapbook page. Many photographers compose images that combine image, text, layers, memories in a single frame or snap. Artists transform walls and other public surfaces of an urban landscape into "pages" - a kind of a scrapbook, too. And, where to draw the line - art journal? collage? altered book collage? mixed-media? comic strips at the bleeding edge? Who knows? Eclectic. Authentic. Subversive. Suggest a key word.