Digital Humanities Initiative

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‘Celebrities With Big Dicks’ – the zombie-ish dark(?) side of commons based digital publishing?

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  • #14936

    mandiberg
    Participant

    Gawker has an interesting article about businesses working to pump out POD books recombining Wikipedia Articles. Each book takes about 12 minutes to make, and lives on forever, undead in the Amazon database even if no one ever buys it…

    Gawker, being Gawker, picked the most pageview friendly title, but many/most of them seem much more mundane.

    http://gawker.com/5901842/celebrities-with-big-dicks-and-other-tales-from-the-weird-world-of-wikipedia-books

    This is the lead:


    The description isn’t lying. Well, I don’t know that everyone loves a big meaty dick. But Celebrities With Big Dicks, a copy of which is currently sitting here, on my desk, does indeed “primarily consist of articles available from Wikipedia.” For 40 bucks and change, you’ve got yourself a printed and bound copy of 22 Wikipedia articles, from “penis” and “human penis size” (background information, obviously) to “Grigori Rasputin” and “Ray J” (the celebrities of the title) subdivided into helpful sections with titles like “The Almighty Penis” and “The Sex Organs, Boners, and Cum Shots.”

    And that’s basically all you get. There’s a title page, and a table of contents, but no information about Rasmussen, and no publisher listed; just a short paragraph printed twice, on the title page and back cover, detailing a kind of manifesto. “The book you are holding in your hand,” it reads in part, “utilizes the unique characteristics of the internet… while maintaining all the convenience and utility of a real book.”

    #24039

    Ann Matsuuchi
    Participant

    There’s a scanned version of one of these publishers titles up on Wikipedia: http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Alphascript_Publishing_book_by_Miller_FP_Vandome_AF_McBrewster_J._A_scanned_example._History_of_Ghana._Copy_and_paste_from_wikipedia.pdf&page=69 ; Wikipedia editors like “Sliggy” are credited as authors here (p. 63).

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