I'm linking to a lot to material that Scott Kirsner points out on his Cinematech blog. CustomFlix is a branch of Amazon.com that will help you get your digital content listed on Amazon. Amazon is now offering digital downloads and CustomFlix announced that they will support that service. The good thing about this is that Amazon doesn't exclude anybody, regardless of how small they are, which means that independent film makers will be able to sell downloads there. That's about as low cost distribution as you can get. The only thing cheaper is hosting the download yourself, but you miss out on being part of Amazon's search and recommendation engines.
Over at The Beat, a comics news blog, there's a link to an interview with Todd Allen about various business models being used by comics artists on the web. Much of what's discussed is also relevant to independent animators. Comics creation costs less and takes less time than animation, so comics creators got to the web first and figured out business models. Animators should take advantage of that by learning from them.
Keith Lango has posted an article about the increasing slickness of CGI and how he thinks it's a bad thing. I'd add that animation always seems to fall into the trap of refining surfaces. It gets slicker, but not deeper. Personally, I'm hungrier for good content than I am for eye candy.
David Nethery has posted an introduction and some images of Ottawa, including many from the recent animation festival.