Recomendo: A new book with 550 recommendations

Originally published at:

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Much as I dislike putting a downer on something like this - because I am a keen fan of CoolTools, and greatly respect Kevin Kelly (10 New Rules for the New Economy was a hugely influential book for me, back when it came out)…

I bought the CoolTools printed book - as a gift for someone - when it came out and was very disappointed. The images were largely awful - the same jpgs as on the site were simply copied to paper, with no attempt to consider if they were suitable for print. As a result, many were very fuzzy as a result of being scaled up (or were just very low resolution to start with); quality in general was very poor.
The same went for the text: simply lifted verbatim from the site, which as CoolTool suggestions were crowd-sourced from ‘the public’, meant many were full of typos and bad grammar. Maybe forgiveable on-line, but not in a printed format. Nobody bothered to proof-read a thing. Some of the errors were egregious, to say the least.

It would have taken little effort to fix these shortcomings, but it didn’t happen. Frankly it came across as a quick/cheap way to cash in on the site’s content, but with no care or respect for the audience. It added nothing that was not on the site and improved on it not one jot.

Now, I’m not saying this new book from the same stable has similar problems. I have no way of telling. And it was at least written by the authors rather than crowd-sourced, so maybe that’s a good sign. But it seems a bit like the same ‘let’s print a load of web content and see if we can make some money’ (probably to fund the CoolTools site - which is very laudable, to be sure, so I feel a bit guilty raising this)… so I’m just suggesting: caveat emptor - check it out first (although there seems to be no “look inside” feature on the Amazon listing), if you can, especially if this is not for you but being purchased as a gift for another.

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Now instead of letting people market stuff to me, I can pay them to do so.

No, no. This is not ‘marketing’, this is ‘curation’. :wink:

Yes, there are places where the difference is a very fuzzy grey.

(I don’t think this is one of them - it’s not a brochure and I do not see how the authors profit if you buy a recommended item - unlike online where I guess affiliation links make money).

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The QR codes could be for affiliate links. At least that’s what I would do if this was my book.

I’m somewhat in awe of anyone who can recommend six things a week for any protracted period of time.

I think I can tentatively recommend water and possibly spinach. I think.

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I think I can tentatively recommend water and possibly spinach. I think.


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