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April 06, 2011 10:45 ET

Amazon Powers New Author Tools for Curation Nation

Author Shares "Innovative Publishing Process"

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 6, 2011) - When author and entrepreneur Steven Rosenbaum signed to write what he hoped would be a best-selling business book -- Curation Nation -- he had all the time in the world.

Then, the world sped up.

Rosenbaum was accustomed to writing under deadline, but when he and his publisher McGraw Hill determined that the trend toward media and brands embracing curation was moving quickly to the mainstream -- a one year manuscript deadline became a five month race to the finish line.

"I knew I had to throw the old rules out the window," said Rosenbaum. "I needed to harness the power of the web to turn around one of the bottlenecks that slows down the writing process."

So, Rosenbaum turned to the on-demand Amazon Mechanical Turk marketplace to help him make the publishing deadline. Interviews that would have been transcribed in weeks were recorded on video, or on Skype, and sent at the end of each day to workers on Amazon Mechanical Turk for overnight transcription.

"It was magical," says Rosenbaum. "No longer was I reading transcripts from weeks earlier, I was literally getting them back within 24 hours -- which meant the tone and highlights were top of mind." Rosenbaum was able to turn complex translation tasks into Mechanical Turk HITs or Human Intelligence Tasks. Intellectual work that is critical and can't be completed by a computer needs the human brain and Amazon Mechanical Turk delivered.

Sharon Chiarella, VP of Amazon Mechanical Turk explained, "Rosenbaum's innovative publishing process for Curation Nation is an example of how publishers and authors are using Amazon Mechanical Turk to quickly and efficiently produce high quality work. Amazon Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for work that makes access to human intelligence simple, scalable and cost effective, allowing businesses and individuals like Rosenbaum to access the resources they need so they can focus on what differentiates their project or business."

The result is a book that has been heralded by business leaders and industry analysts as the future of human-powered context.

Best-selling author Daniel Pink said of the book, "Curation Nation gives me hope for the future of the Information Age. Rosenbaum argues for the growing importance of people creative, smart, hip who can spot trends, find patterns, and make meaning out of the flood of data that threatens to overwhelm us."

And film Director Morgan Spurlock chimed in, "Brands used to be able to buy their way into our lives -- now they need to charm, coax, and seduce us with their wonderfulness. In Rosenbaum's new book Curation Nation -- he sends a clear warning to brands. Let your customers engage in a conversation with you -- or get shut out of the new social curated content world. Oh, and drink POM wonderful."

Said Rosenbaum of the process, "It's exciting to have the speed and energy of the web, harnessed through the community of Amazon Mechanical Turk. In the end, we were able to focus on content, and editorial, and former speed bumps have been removed. It made the whole process fun."

Curation Nation is available now, published by McGraw Hill Professional and available in print and Kindle format on and as a print book at booksellers everywhere. Author Steven Rosenbaum Is the CEO of partners with Amazon Web Services for cloud video storage.

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  • Tera Randall
    Public Relations | Amazon Web Services
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    Meryl Moss
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