Thursday, February 07, 2008

Book 2.0

Anytime there is a technology discussion that includes words like reliable, killer user interface, revolution, or instant-anything eyebrows begin to raise, or you wonder what Apple is up to now.

Steven Levy's article in Newsweek about Amazon's new ebook reader is certainly interesting. I agree this "will change the way readers read, writers write and publishers publish" (p. 57), but the jury is still out if this is a revolution.

The attractiveness of this latest entrant into digital books includes the long battery life, independence from a personal computer, and wireless capability. But it is the many other content capabilities beyond books that make this intriguing; like access to newspapers and magazines, ability to connect to Wikipedia, Google, blogs, other web pages, and even other business documents in PDF format. Together these capabilities do make this device the "iPod of reading" (p. 58).

Books and reading in general has been a social activity for centuries, but the question remains: will people want to hold a digital book in their hands or curl up in their favorite spot to journey with the author? Will the limitations of sharing, loaning, or shelving books hold this gadget back or will the overwhelming mass of content take us there eventually?

From a business perspective, Kindle is very efficient. What are your thoughts about the pros and cons from a social interaction perspective?

SOURCE: Levy, S. (2007 November 26). The Future of Reading. Newsweek, pp. 57-64.

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