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Four short links: 7 March 2011

  1. DigitalKoot -- Playing games in Digitalkoot fixes mistakes in our index of old Finnish newspapers. This greatly increases the accuracy of text-based searches of the newspaper archives. (via Springwise and Imran Ali on Twitter)
  2. Some Things That Need To Be Said (Amanda Hocking) -- A.H. is selling a lot of copies of her ebooks, and she cautions against thinking hers is an easily reproduced model. First, I am continuously overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do that isn't writing a book. Middlemen give you time in exchange for money. Second, By all accounts, he has done the same things I did, even writing in the same genre and pricing the books low. And he's even a better writer than I am. So why am I selling more books than he is? I don't know. I'm reminded of Duncan Watts's work MusicLab which showed that "hits" aren't predictable. It's entirely possible to duplicate Amanda's efforts and not replicate her success.
  3. A Literary Appreciation of the Olson Timezone Database -- timezones are fickle political creations, and this is a wonderful tribute to the one database which ruled them all for 25 years.
  4. TileMill -- a tool for cartographers to quickly and easily design maps for the web using custom data. Open source, built on Mapnik.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl