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The Digital Age Is Changing The World Of Publishing

The world of publishing is constantly changing, and the biggest technological revolution that has changed the world of publishing is the internet. It’s changed print publishing forever, as more information is digitised and put on the internet instead. Of course, there are also technologies such as the Ipad and the Kindle that have changed publishing, as these technologies have caused a decline in physical copies of newspapers and books being purchased.  There seems to be more information available to us everyday, which of course is a good thing, but at times it can cause information overload.

The internet has also introduced the world of social media sites, which has changed the way publishing is done. The emergence of Twitter, Youtube and Facebook allows anyone to publish anything they want, making all content available to anyone who has the internet. Blogging sites such as WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger have made it easier than ever for anyone to write about anything they want and for it to be read by anyone who wants to read it. These publishing sites make it very easy to provide links to other social media websites. For example, a link to a Youtube video can be put on a blog site. Publishing has never been so easy, but there are some problems associated with this ease.

Now that everyone is able to publish, how do you know if what you’re reading is true or reliable? Has the information been edited or checked to make sure it’s genuine? As more information is being published on the internet for everyone to read, there is a growing concern that not everything you read is true. There are certain things to be on the lookout for to make sure information is genuine. With a website such as Wikipedia, which is a collaborative publishing site, there are footnotes that provide links to where the information was obtained. If those links transfer you to websites that are of a credible status, then you can be sure the information on Wikipedia is reliable too. Government websites, educational institution websites and links to the author (providing the author is of credible status) of the website are all ways to be sure information is genuine. The amount of information available sometimes makes it more difficult to find the information you want. At the present time information is easy to obtain, but it takes more time to filter through all the junk that you don’t want to read, whereas before the revolution of digital publishing took place, it was the other way around.

With technology advancing, the way in which publishing is done is changing so rapidly. The internet has changed publishing, providing free information for all to read. This is causing major problems for newspaper companies (Carr and David 2010), because instead of readers buying a printed version of a newspaper, they are turning to the internet, because it pretty much has the same information and has more interactive links such as videos and comments of what other people think about a certain article. This is obviously causing newspaper companies to lose revenue and is making it difficult for these companies to maximise profits.

The New York Times is reportedly going to implement a pay wall so that once someone accesses 20 articles, you have to pay to have unlimited access to articles (Carr and David 2010). Now, I’m just not entirely sure this is going to work. People have been used to having access to free content, so why would they all of a sudden be happy to pay to get information when they could get if from another site for free? The only way this would possibly work is if the New York Times articles are somehow superior and of higher quality than its competitors. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be some people who will be willing to pay a subscription of unlimited access to articles, but I think the majority would reject this idea, especially those who read NYT online but have never subscribed. We are already paying for internet access to read these articles. So, maybe the newspaper companies could arrange a deal with broadband companies and somehow strike a deal. After all, aren’t these newspaper companies attracting people to use the internet more often?

References

Busfield, Steve (2010) ‘Guardian editor hits back at paywalls’, The Guardian, January 25, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jan/25/guardian-editor-paywalls>

Carr, David (2010) ‘Dialing in a Plan: The Times Installs a Meter on Its Future’, The New York Times, January 20, <http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/dialing-in-a-plan-the-times-installs-a- meter-on-its-future/>

Websites discussed

www.blogger.com

www.facebook.com

www.twitter.com

www.wordpress.com

www.tumblr.com

www.youtube.com

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

E-books Will Change Our Experiences With Books Forever

A number of readings of this week discuss the E-book revolution and how this technology has changed the world of book selling and book publishing. I found this reading quite insightful as it discusses the huge impact E-books are having on the book selling and publishing world, and how everything will change from here on in.

One of the major advantages of the E-book is how readily available it is no matter what time or where, and that is a wonderful thing. Some days I can’t be bothered to go to the shops to buy a book I want to read, which is briefly discussed in the radio interview (Osnos 2010), but if all I have to do is click a button to retrieve a certain book, then I would most definitely read it that day. So in a way, E-books are encouraging people to read more than they would have if E-books didn’t exist, and that’s a good thing.

E-books have emerged because of new technologies such as the Kindle and Ipad, which have made it more convenient to purchase, carry and read books. The mobile application Social Books is making reading much more interactive, where people can leave public notes on a particular book they’ve read, even in certain chapters (Wortham 2010) . All these technologies aren’t just changing the way we’re reading books, it’s changing the experience of reading altogether.

However, I have a few issues with the E-book revolution. I feel in some way it diminishes the historical value associated with a book. Up until now we have books from decades and centuries ago that can be seen as part of history. You know those books from long ago that start looking a bit tattered and mouldy? To me, they seem to somehow tell the reader what time period the book came from, and for me it adds more to the story I’m reading. It creates some kind of background and context of the book. Can E-books do that? No.

E-books for me also seem to lose the idea that you can actually own a book. Are you really owning it if you’re reading a digital copy? There is no evidence that you own a book if there is nothing tangible about it. Why is that so important you ask? Well, maybe it’s not to some, but for others, they are generally proud of the things they own and want to show others, and that idea is completely gone with the E-book revolution.

I also feel that the E-book revolution will cause a decrease in people purchasing physical books (well, this is pretty much inevitable) and in some way, I think that we are losing a bit of what books are all about. I know I know, purchasing or borrowing a tangible book takes more time and preparation than having a book available to you with one touch of a button. Yes, E-books are quicker to get and are readily available for everyone to read, but isn’t half the fun of books actually owning your own copy, to put in your book shelf, and to have a story to go with why you bought a particular book? For example, what about the excitement the Harry Potter novels created, and all the children lining up at book stores for hours on end just to grab a copy and start reading it as soon as possible? Yes, they had to wait, but it was an experience those children will never forget, meeting other fans and even dressing up for the occasion. Again, that experience is not possible with E-books.

A lot of books also contain sentimental value, like if someone gives a book to you on your birthday, and a little personalised message is written at the front, it just makes it that little more special. And again, I’ll come back to historical value. It’s a physical thing that can be passed down through the generations and be seen as an important item in a family’s history. That simply can’t be done with an E-book. It seems like all things special associated with purchasing a book will now be lost because of the E-book revolution, and I somehow find it a bit sad.

It seems technology sometimes makes us lose those special little moments in life all for the sake of convenience. With technology moving so quickly, will those special little moments be eradicated forever and will we have any memories or stories associated with a certain book in the future? Only time will tell.

References

 Lehrer, Jonah (2010) ‘The Future of Reading’, Wired, September 8, <http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/the-future-of-reading-2>

Osnos, National Public Radio (2010) ‘E-Book Boom Changes Book Selling And Publishing’, December 21, <http://www.npr.org/2010/12/21/132235154/e-book-boom-changes-book-selling-and-publishing>

Wortham, Jenna (2010) ‘Social Books Hopes to Make E-Reading Communal’, New York Times, November 11, <http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/social-books-hopes-to-make-e-reading-communal/>

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized