Live-blogging TOC 2011: Better than Free, How Value is Generated in a Copy Free World

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First up is Kevin Kelly from Wired magazine, Long Now foundation (and certified wise old man).

Six trends in the world of book publishing:

  1. Screening: we’re moving from being people of the book to people of the screen. Ubiquitous screens is the context of publishing now. Reading a book on a phone wouldn’t have made any sense even a few years ago. There’s no reason screens couldn’t be bound into the traditional form of a book in fact. Orality > Literacy > Vizuality. TV you read; books you watch, stuff you screen.
  2. Interacting: the future of books is a toddler using an iPad. Reading could expand to be something we do with more of our body, already reading through hearing. Tablets, phones have cameras, 2b cameras in phones this year. Interacting through a tablet, a book, looking back at us. Text can become adaptive to the user. Books with eyes [creepy powerpoint slide!]. Interactive media has failed before, but non-linear narratives are alive and well in games, a larger industry than books.
  3. Sharing: We have windows, screens, that look back at us. Reading can be a private activity, but has historically been much more social (the tradition of marginalia, as ways that notes are passed between students of Talmud). Reading will return to this social state. Wikipedia has more and more “blue”; links between pages, will become one large book. Social reading is symbiotic with social writing. Sharing is just at the beginning of its potential.
  4. Accessing instead of owning: People get more value out of not owning it, rental, etc. All music in the planet could be stored on 6TB, all books ever created would cost $20,000 to store, so why own? [Hm.]
  5. Flowing: never finished, always updating streams instead of pages.
  6. Generating: Never been a better time to be a reader, but not so much a producer [oy]. World of the free, Kindle is on a trend to be free by November 2011. Make it harder to steal by making it easier to pay. Amazon is not selling a particular book so much as the means to find the book you want; you buy there not because they are only source. Value is in immediacy, attention, findability, personalization.

 

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