Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Discussion of Book Publishings Future

There is an interesting blog post this week, that I had a chance to participate in. Both the content and context of this post are interesting to me.

The post written by Ajay Jain, in a blog called Techgazing, asks the Question, "Will Kindle send book publishing the music industry way?" Please take the time to read it.

What I find interesting here (besides the obvious that he included my opinion in the post) were several things:

1. The post was 'built' by using a feature of the LinkedIn social network, called Q&A. I'm not even sure I understand all the magic here. One day, I logged into LinkedIn, and there was a 'question' about the book industry that was just too tantalizing to pass up. So I answered it. It was clear that mine was one of maybe 50 answers. I thought to myself at the time, that this was an interesting method to write a piece, and after I answered, I didn't think anything more of it. All of the people who answered were in the LinkedIn network.

2. The post was more of a survey aggregation than something written by the author. If you notice, aside from the opening 3 paragraphs, the author lets other people do all the talking. This is both interesting, and powerful. We don't need to 'trust' exclusively in the opinion of the author, and the fact that there are so many voices in the piece, I think, helped turn this piece more into a discussion forum than an editorial like piece.

3. The post generated (as you can see), many many comments - and obviously touched a nerve. The content, obviously found a place where people have strong emotions, as have all the pieces in the past few weeks about ebooks. I find this very encouraging for our society. If we can take this type of discussion into the world political arena, perhaps we could all become a little more tolerant of each other.

4. While definitely a 'geek' perspective on the world of books and publishing, it is a 'world geek' view, not just an American view. It seems that one very interesting thing is that social networks eliminate territorial borders. The author was from India, but many of his participants were from places all around the world. Again, sociologically speaking, I find this to be very encouraging.

My kudos to Ajay for pulling this piece together, not only on the topic, but for how he did it. This type of 'facilitation' is very interesting.

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