eBooks and the Internet
Todays video is about the end of publishing as we know it, now that Amazon has taken over Marshall Cavendish and it has announced the Amazon Library System.
I was so overcome – I couldn’t write so I got Dragon Express To do the job for me. I love it, you have to talk in a slightly strange way but that doesn’t matter as my brain thinks in the same fashion!
Almost a year ago, I wrote an article about Googazon, in which I predicted that Google and Amazon would one begin buying up all the major publishing houses until there were only Google and Amazon left to publish books.
This week we have the news that Amazon has bought Marshall Cavendish, a major publisher. Not only that, Amazon has also announced its library, with which it intends to pay authors a Public lending Right from a fund of $6 million.
This truly is the beginning of the end of publishing as we know it and I feel really quite smug that I predicted this almost exactly a year ago. Expect an orgy of purchasing in the next year or two – I should be buying shares or something!
This last year I have rewired my brain into the video world of YouTube. I find writing my blog really rather old-fashioned. Wanting to write something on this subject I found that I really couldn’t be bothered to type anymore. So I bought Dragon dictation for the Mac and and I’m talking all this text into my computer, pretty much flawlessly, with only a couple of minutes training.
Will I ever type again?
If you like my Sweet Little Baby Boo app for the iphone, you can heart it and help it at http://iheartthisapp.com/apps/sweet-little-baby-boo/ by clicking the plus heart button. You might even like to say something nice about it at the bottom on the page!
For so many years I’ve heard the same argument: “You wouldn’t read an ebook in bed or in the bath, would you?” I shower, so no – but in three or four years time, they’ll give eBook readers away for free and I won’t think twice about reading them in the bath.
I do, however, find I reach for my iPad in bed. I’m not reading like I used to, I’m watching instruction videos. I love them. I love TED and youtube and all the things they teach me. When I account for my general knowledge, I’d say 80% has come from the TV and the Radio – no reading involved.
So, do we still need to teach children to read? I think it’s a serious question.
When I was at school, after years of unsuccessfully learning my times tables by wrote, a friend brought in a pre-release version of the Sinclair pocket calculator. It might as well have been dropped by a UFO. That truly was a paradigm shifting moment. So much of all that mental arithmetic we used to learn, not to mention log tables and slide rules went out the door that moment. We don’t need to learn how to add up any more, we only need to know how to press the + key and we can be shown how to do that on a video. Most people rarely do anything other than +-x or ÷ in their entire lives maybe the odd %.
All practical skills are far better taught on video than in books.
Who needs inferior, printed images in dusty old books when you have the spectacular images from the greatest galleries around the world available in glowing, ultra-high definition, projected on your 3d wall-sized living room screen?
What is important – the story and the message or the words that contain them and the medium upon which they appear? A word is still a word, even if it isn’t written down. In fact most of man’s trials and tribulations come when the literate insist on setting words in stone and filling books full of rules.
I heard this weekend, that Salman Rushdie say TV is the new literature - I would agree with him. More books are sold than ever before, but their numbers pale into insignificance compared with the numbers watching TV drama. Who needs novels, other than production companies requiring* stories?
We blight our children’s early lives with this desperate desire to reach targeted reading attainment levels, all for political re-election purposes. To what end? The iPad today is like the pocket calculator was way back then. The only words we’ll need to know in future are < • || and > and maybe on and off.
Why do we need to learn to read when the written word will be defunct in the very near future?
(Of course, when I’ve watched all the videos and learned what I need about ActionScript 3 coding to get me up and running, there are a couple of old-fashioned paper books on my bedside table that I might just indulge myself with. After all, I still love the shapes that letters make on paper and in my head – but what do I know – I’m just an old fuddy-duddy the future belongs to the kids.)
Well, that would be giving it all away before I’ve really got going! All my files are set up and my Apple Developer Certificates are all in place so I can get to work. Sketches are coming along nicely, as is the text.
Text! Yes, I think text is very important. It maybe interactive, but it’s still a book with words in.
I know our new Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson, isn’t very keen on computers and eBooks, but I am. The thing is to differentiate what is an eBook, which is something that you read and has words in, from a movie or a game or a TV show – eBooks and ipads and computers are not bad and they are not destroying the ability to read.
To be able to read, you need to do a lot of practice and I don’t really care wether you practice using a book or an ipad – it’s the act of reading that is the important thing.
I don’t get Google Adwords. I had a voucher to get me going and see how it works. Well, I’ve re-crafted my ad so many times and in so many different ways, yet it keeps being rejected. I have no idea what is wrong with it! Not sure I can be bothered to keep going.
I was amazed that Duncan’s microphone is also the recording device. It plugs in with a USB cable and downloads the audio files that have been recorded. How things have changed! Or have they? I suppose it’s a very high quality dictaphone when you think about it. Technologies do have a habit of converging all the time.
I’m rapidly realising that producing an app for the iPhone is the easy part, telling the world about it requires so much time, thought and creativity. I’ve found similarly minded people on a great site called momswithapps, where we can share our experiences. Sometimes it’s nice to know you are not alone