A contagious media project by John Bell remixing famous book covers has taken flight, visualizing the literary possibilities attending the recent merger of Random House and Penguin Books.
As reported in NMDnet:
Yesterday the US Department of Justice approved the merger of Random House and Penguin books. This new literary colossus, which will control a quarter of the English-language publishing market, will be known by the suitably resplendent portmanteau of…Penguin Random?
Say it ain’t so, say thousands of bookworms everywhere disappointed that the literary juggernaut won’t be called Random Penguin….Not to worry: new media artist John Bell (@NMDJohn) has given us a glimpse into what the wonderful world of Random Penguin would have looked like.
His just-launched site Random-Penguin.com shows a series of book covers that have been remixed to incorporate random penguins.
As an occasional contributor to the widely read book review Fantasy Cafe, Bell has some experience with today’s literary scene.
As the project went viral, Bell’s Web site went from zero to ten thousand visitors in a few days, Random House editors began following him on Twitter, and Penguin Book’s president mentioned his antarctic antics on Facebook.
Interestingly, Bell reports that exactly seven of the first ten thousand hits came from Google; the majority were from Twitter, with Tumblr second and Facebook third.
Bell’s experiment makes clear that social media wield an enormous influence in the propagation of memes across today’s media landscape.