Monday, March 14, 2011

The Future of the Publishing Industry

I mentioned in my last post how Apple is changing the publishing industry. Dr. Bill Rankin has blogged about the future of the publishing industry and also spoke at the recent Apple Leadership Summit. He compares the current information revolution to the advent of the printing press. If current trends continue, the information on the internet will double every 15 minutes by 2020. It is critical that students be literate on how to filter and find relevant and accurate information when they need it.

Rankin goes on to talk about the future of books on mobile devices. He says that books will be social, customized for the reader, augmented (know where I am with location-based info), and collaborative works that are interactive and media rich. He goes on to describe them as mobile in our pockets and portable between multiple devices that remembers what you have read, even on different devices. It is a transformation of reading and literacy as we know it. Some people disagree or just don’t like it. Many of these things are already in development. I’m not sure it is much of a choice at this point. Ready or not, here it comes.  All that said, I'm not sure it is a zero sum game, meaning that just because reading may transform, the current traditional book will disappear.  I see it more as additive at this point.

I like this video from IDEO on the Future of Books as it describes what could be in the future. What do you think? Is this something that excites you or scares you?

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.
Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?

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