Small Demons

Things are going swimmingly in the Land of the Fizzy with a kickass launch party for the last of the 2011 books, Kio Stark’s Follow Me Down, at the Bell House in Brooklyn on Tuesday. But in order to ensure that Red Lemonade remains insulated from the pressure to make a lot of money now, to grow to a uselessly generic size now, in order to continue to experiment with different kinds of publishing behavior, Mark Warholak and I have decided to make Red Lemonade a fully volunteer-operated enterprise.

This meant that I had to look for something new. And boy did I find it. At BEA this year I was introduced by Brian O’Leary and Kassia Kroszer to Valla Vakili, CEO of Small Demons. As he sat down and started to explain it to me, my mind flooded. There were all these people I wanted to introduce him to: publishers, writers, bloggers. People who should know about Small Demons, who can help and be helped. What I also realized is that I had never thought of this angle on books, culture, discovery, and reading.

Now this is going to sound a wee bit conceited, but I’d prided myself until then on knowing pretty much every angle there was on new modes of publishing. I was up on on annotation, social reading, transmedia, distributed editing, Digital Humanities, on music projects like Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud, on journalism, on Shirky’s Age of Abundance and Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans and Bruce Sterling’s Internet of Things and Union Square Ventures’ Hacking Education. And so on.

But what Valla was telling me was new new. And it was thrilling.

So when I realized it was time to work for someone, I talked to Valla.

And am pleased to report that I’m now VP of Content and Community for Small Demons.

So what the hell is Small Demons? It’s the New Serendipity. It’s “Go where the story takes you.” I know I owe you details, but we’re not quite there yet. Just a few more weeks and I’ll be able to start hooking folks up with some nice examples of the demonologists at work.

But I’ll tell you where the name came from, because few if any LA-based tech start-ups derive their names from Borges’s “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”.

“The history of the universe…is the handwriting produced by a minor god in order to communicate with a Demon.”