Friday, April 17, 2009

Critter Cleaners

We discovered these fun little animal desktop cleaners made by Elecom on the AudioCubes website recently and instantly new they'd be a big hit with the youth market. The nylon dusters are great for getting between the keys on your keyboard, while the wool dusters are safe for your screen. There are also padded cloth erasers which work as a general purpose cleaning tool.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Piggy Banks for Cool Kids

Somewhere between the mid 70s and the late 90s, piggy banks somehow managed to transform themselves from cutesy objects for kids to cool collectibles for young adults. We're not quite sure who is responsible for said transformation (was it famed Canadian Karim Rasid? Designer-Darling Jonathan Adler?), but we're not complaining. Not Neutral, a multi-discipline design firm based in Los Angeles, has created some very affordable piglets worth dropping your coinage into.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cheaper Parking for Eco Friendly Cars

This was blogged about on the SpringWise website - a site that talks mostly about new and inventive business ideas for entrepreneurial minds - and we instantly thought about what a great initiative it would make for colleges and universities. Reward students with eco-vehicles with 1/2 price parking. See the clipped image above for the full idea (just click on the image to view larger so you can read the text). In Los Angeles, we have also seen parking lots where eco-vehicles get the premium spots, (those that would be closest to the faculty buildings), typically next to the handicap spaces. University of Manitoba students would give their right arms for that!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Six Projects to Change Publishing for the Better

Here is Michael Tamblyn's presentation of 6 Things That Could Change Publishing for the Better, which was presented at the BookNet Canada Tech Forum 2009 in Toronto on March 12, 2009. Michael is the CEO of BookNet Canada.

Yes, there are things unique to campus stores that might not apply, but there is a lot of cross-over information usefulo campus booksellers in this presentation.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Knock Knock newbies

Knock Knock is one of those companies that really, truly gets consumers. Their humor-filled note pads, checklists, and door hangers let you channel both your inner obsessive-compulsive over-organized self AND your sarcastic pessimistic self at the same time. Since most students fall into one or both of those categories, it's understandable why Knock Knock products keep growing in popularity. Above are some of the brand's new releases we're pretty crazy for...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Three by Three

Three by Three in Seattle used to be known for their vast array of super-mini "Mighty Magnets" with uncanny magnetic power. It seems like overnight they've expanded their collection of offerings to include a number of other great items perfect for students. Our favorites include the magnetic boards and strips with REAL wood finish, the magnetic hooks (with signature uncanny staying power - see their site for the photo of one holding a cast iron frying pan!) and super cute ShapeUp bookmarks (sorry, no magnets here).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Good Type of Bundling

In this instance, bundling of e-books refers to getting a variety of formats so it does not matter what reader device is being used:

An Argument for Open Publishing

An interesting video interview with a leading proponent of open publishing.... from on Vimeo.

Awaiting an I-Pod for Books?

Another interesting read...

Digital Future is Confusing and Inspirational

This is a very interesting commentary on the impact of the Google settlement on digital publishing:

"How these rights will be secured and exploited by Google or someone else should keep the lawyers and the visionaries busy for some time. In fact, Rosenblatt says that it will probably take as long as two years just to get the BRR up and running to service the initial business models, let alone the aspirational ones. Rosenblatt and Kreisa say the future business model will require publishers to restructure their content in ways most of them don’t do at present. How do you secure and define the rights to set up a custom-publishing service that combines content from different publishers? What about textbooks with a multiplicityof content—photos, text, art and charts? Dealing with multiple publishers can be difficult enough, but what about out-of-print titles whose rights have reverted to the author—will aggregators need to negotiate with every single author? “It will be very complex,” says Rosenblatt."

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