AN: What’s Your Favorite App, Mark Coker?
MC: I have multiple favorite apps, so it’s really difficult for me to name just one. Since you’re asking for just one, I’m going to go with Echofon. I use Twitter primarily as my daily newsfeed, and secondarily as a tool to share interesting publishing industry news, or news about Smashwords, our authors or our retail partners. Multiple times per day, I’ll dip into my Twitterstream with Echofon. I follow about 170 smart people and organizations on Twitter, and many of them are hyper-focused on eBook publishing news and media trends. In thirty seconds with a quick scroll, I can get a sense of what’s breaking in the world of publishing.
Welcome to our new column, What’s Your Favorite App?, a new feature where we talk to media professionals, journalists and authors about what kinds of apps they are using in hopes of helping readers discover new apps.
Coker uses Echofon on his iPhone 5. “My iPhone is my interface to the world when I’m not face to face with people or nature, and even then it’s a nearby tool for enriching face-to-face experiences with photos and information access,” says Coker.
Coker is the founder of Smashwords, a digital publishing company that helps self-published authors and small publishers format and distribute their books digitally. The site hosts more 190,500 books, and works with more than 58,000 authors and small publishers. Smashwords has recently had a number of bestsellers in Apple’s iBookstore. Coker is currently working to improve Smashwords’ publishing platform — trying to increase distribution tools, improve metadata and discovery tools, and revamping the company website.
Coker uses the Echofon app, and Twitter in general, for business only. “I have multiple saved searches on Echofon, so with another click I might check the chatter about Smashwords, or one of the multiple keywords or search strings I’m following,” he says. “I’m somewhat unconventional in my use of Twitter in that I seldom engage in conversations because I don’t want to clog the Twitterstreams of my followers with irrelevant tweets, or tweets without context.”
Coker’s iPhone attachment sometimes provokes a bit of jealousy from his wife. “My wife has taken to calling my new iPhone 5 the other woman in my life. She says I get twitchy when I’m separated from it,” he says. “I think she’s jealous of my relationship with Siri.”