cool tools

Book jacketAnother digital flip-flop for you: a book that started out as a website. Cool Tools: A catalog of possibilities came out in 2013, was #15 on Amazon in the US, and is a book based on Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools website. I can remember spending hours reading Kevin’s views on the best notebooks (at the time, Canson C Spiral), a recommendation I still remember five years on (five years in real life=32 internet years). Take a look at the archived ‘paper world’ for more pens, sharpeners, etc.
sample pages
Cool Tools is reminiscent of Stewart Brand‘s really legendary 1970 Whole Earth Catalogue. Stewart did everything you think is new on the Internet about 20 years beforehand, more or less. It’s amazing that Cool Tools, a kind of Whole Earth Catalogue (WEC) for this decade (please discuss cultural implications.. ) works – a testament I think both to the power of making, and the power of objects.
Kevin Kelly is a long time collaborator of Stewart Brand, and worked on the WEC. He was also a founding editor of Wired magazine, who published the original Long Tail article, describing how Amazon, iTunes, and etsy make money from specialist interests like folk music, books, crafts. He has some really interesting ideas about how artists can make a living in the world of the Long Tail:
A 1000 true fans, and
The Reality of depending on true fans, a response from a practicing artist.
Both really interesting to artists and makers, and I think close to reality for many. I can’t believe they were pubished in 2008 and I have only just found them!
(PS: great idea for a Christmas present. Yes, I know it’s still July.)

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