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It's Time to Modernize eBooks
By: Shel Israel
We expect Age of Context, the new book Robert Scoble and
I announced will sell more ebooks than paper. In the book,
we will discuss how people are about to journey where no
one has gone and we want to do the same with ebooks.
To date, most ebooks are simply electronic versions of documents designed to
be printed. This is not a surprise. When TV first came in, the first newscasters
migrated over from radio. They simply sat at a desk, reading printed words
off the page in front of a camera, just like they had always done.
But look what evolved. TV news, may not always be the quality we would like
to see, but they have adapted to a visual medium one entirely different than
the radio medium from which newscasters emerged.
We feel that it is time for electronic books to become more than the paper and
PDFs from which they have emerged. Here are some of the features we would
like to see in Age of Context ebooks:
the online sources of the information we are using.
on touch e-readers
Many of our interviews will be conducted by
We are writing on a very dynamic subject.
We would like to make periodic
updates in the book. We would like to charge a small sum for the new updates
–under $1 and let people who bought our book keep current on changes. This
would replace annuity books such as What Color is Your Parachute, which
has been updated annually for more than 25 years.
’t readers comment on our chapters in the same way they
comment on our blogs?
Some of these features have been tried here and there. We are impressed,
for example, with
History of Jazz
an interactive iBook. Some have never
We know not all ereaders are capable of all these innovations. But we see no
reason why our software cannot drive innovation in hardware.
We think it is time to improve the reader’s online experience and we hope to
make some–if not all– of these ideas come true.
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