The last week has brought up a new discussion on the future of e-books. It started with a post on Buns, blankets and bears; Are ebooks the new CD-ROM?, that I discovered on Twitter. I ReTweeted the post and it was posted on FriendFeed where Walt Crawford commented. This led to a short discussion which again caused me to wonder if the augmented e-books (a-books) would go the same way as the now unreadable CD-ROMs I have cluttering up a drawer in my desk. But there are some factors that might give a-books a better chance than the old CD-ROMs. First and foremost, people are more open to digitally enhanced experiences today than 10 years ago. Secondly, there is a culture for creation that was not there when CD-ROMs where the bee’s knees, of course you had to have a million dollar studio and computer stuff to make a CD-ROM with text, audio and video, but today you can mix the whole thing together on a 200 dollar PC. So these factors combined might bring on a grassroots creative burst, and when you get the first viral success a-book you get publishers to sit up and take notice, unlike the CD-ROM “revolution” which was mostly top-down driven the a-book revolution might be bottom-up driven. I can’t wait to see:-)

I'm a norwegian librarian.

Posted in E-books, Library 2.0
2 comments on “A-books?
  1. waltcrawford says:

    Both good points, and it will be interesting to see what happens–although “this stuff is hard” still applies (that is: no matter how easy the tools, most of us aren’t good writers, even fewer are good cinematographers or songwriters or… which makes enhancement a little tricky for some). “Now unreadable CD-ROMs” is interesting: Are they? I plan to check this out some day soon…

  2. Well, the old ones for the Mac OS 9 and Win 3.1 I have tried and they all fail. I will try the ones made for win 95 some other day and see what happens:-) You are absolutely right that not many will make a good product, but out of a million attempts maybe one or two will be good enough to get the attention and showcase how it might be done. Nowadays some really good music and videos come from the rank and file.

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August 2009
The Librarian

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