This week - Viral emotions, the Netflix of books, and a type face that teaches.
It is no surprise that a Chinese study of the embedded emoticons used in social media showed that rage is the fastest moving emotion on the internet. People tend to have the most to say when they are unhappy – see the plethora of Yelp reviews that fall under the “less-than-pleased” category – and for some reason we feel the need to tell the whole world about it. While this study isn’t going to open the eyes of serial complainers (you know who you are – and just a note, no one cares), we can stack this study in with a whole pile of other “Well, DUH!” articles aimed at rising ire with very little effort. If it makes you feel any better, joy came in second place. As per usual.
Now, much like Netflix or Amazon Prime, the literate world of book readers has a subscription-based option for their tome-ingestion needs. When I first heard of this I jumped on the opportunity to check it out. For $9.95 per month I can subscribe to Oyster and read an unlimited number of books. For someone like me, this is entirely worthwhile.
I am not the most avid reader. I have a small business and a full time job, a husband and a plethora of other responsibilities, so there isnt a TON of time leftover for reading. However, I read enough that ten bucks a month is quite a deal. I quickly reviewed my previous purchases on digital books on both Amazon and iBooks and came up with a total of $80.20 for the past six months. That’s an average of $13.36 per month on books – Oyster is a whole $3 in savings!
Okay, so the cost of ebooks are not really that prohibitive, but I do notice that I tend to read older books because they cost less (or are free). I will probably still troll Amazon for free books just because it is a mecca for self-published works. Oyster deals with select publishers to populate their library, and is adding more authors and books all the time, but if I want to read the latest release from some relatively unknown author I am up a creek without a paddle.
This service is not unlike Scribd, which is another subscription-based book site, however I really love the layout, navigation, aesthetic, and recommendations that Oyster provides. It is a clean design, easy to navigate, and provides synapses for each book. Oyster is currently available for iPhone and iPad (both of which I own multiple devices of) and you can check out the 7-day free trial to learn more.
A primary school in East Sussex, England has commissioned a new typeface to be developed that aids in teaching children to read and write, as well as being dyslexic-friendly. For someone who is not an educator, I can tell you that I had no idea that there was a need for this type of type.
This new font is sans-serif, it mimics the way children typically write, and comes in a variety of options such as dotted (for children to write over to learn letters) and instructional (with arrows to show children the best way to write a letter or number). This font also teaches children to write their “a” letters as “single-story” versus the double-story that the font you are reading now utilizes. It also puts emphasis on the parts of a letter that would naturally appear heavier when written with a pen based on overlapping movements. It replaces Comic Sans as a teaching tool, much to the delight of many contemporary graphic designers.