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Pulling the WOOL off the cloud

March 4, 2013

woolAfter reading Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five,” Amazon.com recommended a self-published Kindle freebie called “Wool.” The story depicts life in a sealed underground silo, where inhabitants are protected from the poisonous environment outside. In fact the only people who go outside, do so as a death sentence “by cleaning” of sensors that monitor the deadly outside world. The sci-fi short by author Hugh Howey grabbed me fast, and hasn’t let go. I read, then I tell (Play)Joyce. Read. Tell (Play)Joyce. It’s an amazing story. Howey’s, that is. Amazon, their Kindle, cloud-delivered ebooks, and social media have elevated self-publishing to a point where hopeful writers can actually succeed with their work beyond the old world way of “vanity publishing.” In the case of Mr. Howey, “Wool” has expanded into a series, been picked up by publisher Simon and Schuster, and the film rights have been sold to 20th Century Fox, potentially with director Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Blade Runner”, “Gladiator”) at the helm. Yeah, BIG TIME. Oh, and Mr. Howey has not relinquished his right to self-publish. Sweet.

This recent article in Cloud Times got me thinking about Mr. Howey’s success, and then fortuitous timing last week delivered a Slate piece on the author, whose success may have never occurred without the cloud and the public relations power of social media. Of course, the social media thing is a double edged sword. Had “Wool” been crap, not many Kindle users would have pulled it from the cloud and over their eyes. (I apologize. That was awful, but I’m leaving it simply to humor myself.) The same goes for “cloud” software. It’s super-hyped, but just because some application is “cloud,” does not guarantee success. Kronos is working hard to make sure our software delivered via the cloud actually delivers a great customer experience. Otherwise, the social media amplified “voice of the customer” will send us out for a cleaning.

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