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Week 11 post

I have been put into a group for the final assignment: the Electronic Publishing Project -which is worth 30%.  I am completing this course entirely online, and have just come into contact with two of my group. Fortunately – one of them is a professional writing major and has been using Word Press for his own personal blog for the last year. Another appears to be a foreign student from Asia. I am still waiting on contact from our fourth member. We are currently altering our major projects to be published online – taking into account the course content from week 5 – it should only be 50 percent of the sze of the printed text, removing all unessecary words and sentences, using font type Verdana or Georgia, using less complex words, etc.

‘Reading in a time of change’ and the future of the book

By Harley MacDonald S3157632

I have focused on the presenters- Marieke Hardy and Sherman Young

The presenter Marieke Hardy, is both a writer and reviewer, who discusses the new phenomenon of mobile books, also known as m-books. She herself has recently released her own book via mobile phone called ‘Vigilante Virgins’. M-books are new to Australia and she is interested to see if they will catch on here, as they are a ‘huge success’ in Japan. Marieke believes that some of the chapters in m-books are too short, and that this may hinder the adoption of this medium. She enjoys using new technology such as twitter and blogs, in order to find good authors. However, she feels that a person has to “swim through a river of shit to find one writer worth paying attention to”. (Reading in a time of change 2010)

I believe that new media technologies such as blogs and e-books have resulted in the ordinary citizen being given the opportunity to become journalists and authors. There is no need for writers to be qualified, experienced, or for their work to be accurate or relevant. The ‘barriers to entry’ to the writing profession have been demolished. Marieke believes that these new social media technologies, such as blogs and facebook, have also created a direct link between author and reader. However, Marieke also believes that it is important that an author’s work isn’t “watered down with over-saturation”. She believes that readers can follow the author on blogs and twitter for a ‘lighter experience’, and then go to the bookstore to purchase the author’s novel.

There are those that believe technology such as e-book and e-readers spell the death of the book as we know it, and there are those that embrace this new technology, and believe this technological revolution is for the better. Marieke believes that it is now possible to “have a foot in both camps without being a traitor to either.” (Reading in a time of change 2010)

The ‘death of the book’ has been announced so many times, people feel it is now necessary to debate it at least once a year. (Kindersly 2007) Amongst experts, there was a fear that people “would think that somehow or other we’re destroying Western civilization because we’re taking people away from books”, but experts believe that these new technologies are actually enhancing the use of books. (ABC 2010) Marieke is one of the proponents of e-books and m-books, however, at this stage in her life, she states that, “she doesn’t want to read ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’ on a mobile phone, doesn’t want to read a book on a ‘choc wedge’, and doesn’t want to finish the ‘Great Gatsby’ and see a cursor”. (Reading in a time of change 2010) She then wonders if that makes her a hypocrite. I personally believe that her attitude is slightly hypocritical.  She is writing and producing m-books designed to be read via mobile device, yet she herself doesn’t want to read via mobile device, in fact, she doesn’t want to read ‘classic’ works via m-device.

Will new technologies replace print based books? Some people have argued that online games have not stopped people from playing games in person, therefore online reading will never entirely replace printed books. (Kindersly 2007) I believe that the printed word will soon become a thing of the past, if Google, the company that provides the world’s most popular search engine, achieves its’ ambitious plan, to make all of the world’s books available online through Google Book Search. Marieke says she will continue to read books in their various guises, “as the world unfolds before me”. (Reading in a time of change 2010)

Sherman Young, an academic, a self-proclaimed gamer and former multimedia producer, believes that with regards to the future of the book there are two questions. Firstly, what type of reading technology will we be using in 15 years? And secondly, will we still be reading long-form text for information and entertainment?

As an expert in the field, and an author of the book titled ”The book is dead. Long live the book”, Sherman wholeheartedly embraces technology. In answer to his own question, he believes that in 15 years we will all be reading from ‘screens’. Currently, when it comes to ‘screens’, there are many on the market; including the Kindle, i-phones, the I-pad, and other forms and brands of e-readers.  The Kindle displays book pages using ‘electronic ink’, which is designed to resemble a hard copy book. (Copyright 2010) The I-pad is ‘backlit’, and has improved contrast, however there is a drawback, and that being it is susceptible to glare. (Copyright 2010)

Sherman observes that ‘screens’ are just like blank paper, and that today’s screens are just as good as paper. He also believes that in terms of the ‘sacred book’, we use rose-tinted glasses when we look at the past. For example, Sherman mentions that world renowned author Charles Dickens had most of his initial works published in serial form, and then were later reprinted in book form. Authors of today could use new mediums such as e-books to get recognition for their work, and then have their work published in a printed form.

Sherman is of the opinion that ‘the screen’ is coming, and that it will supersede print based books, and soon, we will all be reading from these screens, and that paper will be a thing of the past.

When the future arrives, fifteen years down the track, Sherman ponders the question: will we still be reading long form texts? Or will books die? (Reading in a time of change 2010) Marieke is of the opinion that fifteen years from now readers will probably be reading from mobile device.  Other experts agree that screens are the future of reading, but that we will have a ‘blended’ market for some time to come, producing both e-books and hard copy books. (Copyright 2010)  Sherman says “We are on the cusp, of a new natural order of things. I say: bring it on”. (Reading in a time of change 2010)

I believe that the popularity of new mobile devices, such as Kindles, i-phones, i-pods and the i-pad cannot be ignored, and if Google succeeds in its’ plans to digitize every book in the world, then the printed book will be a thing of the past. I believe that the vast majority of the population, mainly in first world countries, will adopt e-readers if Google succeeds, as all books that have been published, whether in the past or present will be available for quick and easy download, at  a minimal price. How can paper based books compete, when at the touch of a button, you can instantly download any book you desire, at the same or less cost as a published book? I agree that print based books will still be in use fifteen years from now, but these will diminish as the vast majority of the population will be reading from ‘the screen’.

Bibliography

ABC 2010, Rear Vision, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, viewed 10th August 2010, <http://www.abc.net.au/rn/rearvision/stories/2010/2797085.htm>

Copyright Agency Limited 2010, ‘Padded landing –Apple’s i-pad gives the digital revolution added momentum’, Copyright, viewed 10th August 2010, <http://www.copyright.com.au/Latest_News/Padded_landing_-_Apple%E2%80%99s_iPad_gives_the_digital_re.aspx>

Kindersly, T. 2007, ‘The death of the book, again’, Guardian,  Tuesday 17 April (Culture:books:blog), viewed 12st August 2010, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2007/apr/17/thedeathofthebookagain(Guardian)>

Reading in time of change, 2010, videorecording, Meanland, The Wheeler Centre, February 2010,  viewed 1st August 2010, <http://meanland.com.au/blog/post/a-more-comprehensive-yet-still-very-exciting-televisual-event/&gt;

Weekly post week 10

Well things are going well with my major project which is on ‘Open Access in Academic Journal pubsishing’. Its the right length, and I have submitted it to Turnitin, and the results were reasonable. I am now doing some last minute proof-reading and editing- the assignment is due this Friday.  I found the Cite-u-like reference sharing to be useful – although it appears I may be the only student focusing on Open Acess. Overall, things are going well in this course, and I am waiting for the final project – the elctronic publishing project, where we shall be assigned into groups and given the task of presenting our major projects electronically; which should be challenging. This  week we looked at XML – extensible markup language, and how to seperate the structure of a document from the presentation.

Well, this is the new format of my Blog- it is now part of a ‘static’ homepage, and contains a ‘Contact Us’ page, an ‘About Us page, And a page for my weekly Blogs; which you are reading now. I like the new format, as the former version was a little untidy. I also looking at new ways to make it more visually appealing- perhaps with different ‘categories’ for my posts.

This has been an interesting week in this e-publishing course, and only two assignments left to complete.

Week 8 reflection: Lulu

More on week 8: http://www.Lulu.com

There is an interesting discussion taking, place on the RMIT e-publishing board in regards to www.Lulu.com . Mine is the first post, and the others are responses to it.

“ In regards to lulu.com, obviously many amateur authors/artists who couldn’t get their work published elsewhere, or had great difficulty getting published,  would be very interested in using lulu.com. Also, many people who never thought of publishing their art in this manner could be interested. The question is: how many people are going to use lulu.com and purchase books? Did anyone else notice that there are some ‘regular’ books available for sale on Lulu – such as Harry Potter books? I suppose these are available to ‘draw in’ customers who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in ‘amateur’ authors.”

(Harley MacDonald, RMIT e-publishing Discussion Board)

http://blackboard.rmit.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_82835_1)

“Lulu is just another source of self-published fiction on the net, with the added option of being able to purchase a properly-bound hard copy version of the text.

But non-fiction work (health books, biographies, history) could be less popular, particularly as a book need not be edited be a professional in that area for the book to be published.  I’d see it as akin to purchasing book-length wikipedia articles in some cases – maybe good as a general guide but I wouldn’t count on its accuracy.  I’d hope an editor got to look over Essentials of Cataract Surgery before it went on sale… “ (Zac HOLLY RMIT e-publishing Discussion Board) http://blackboard.rmit.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_82835_1

“With more people buying books online, Lulu could just become another online retailer for people to buy reading material from. When I first looked at the site I thought it was designed to be used just by people publishing their own work, but like others doing this course, I was surprised that you can purchase established titles available for purchase elsewhere online and in bookshops. I think readers will happily buy from Lulu and it could become known as a place to find new and interesting writing. It just needs to be reviewed positively somewhere, in print or online, to encourage more people to use it.”

(David Nicholas BRADLEY RMIT e-publishing Discussion Board)

http://blackboard.rmit.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_82835_1

“I think the fact that this site offers both self-published works and published works could actually be quite deceptive. What happens if I think I’m buying a good quality text (something Harry Potter-like) and I wind up with something that hasn’t been through an editing process? This isn’t limited to Lulu, really. I bought a book from Book Depository the other day that had spelling mistakes in the first few pages and the BLURB! Maybe the line between publishing and self-publishing is becoming less clear?” (Romany Charlotte MANUELL RMIT e-publishing Discussion Board)

http://blackboard.rmit.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_82835_1

week 7 reflection

Playing with Paint Shop Pro was fun and interesting – I found the abiltiy to compress images quite sueful. Obviously this can be utilised to ‘shrink’ the file size for faster downloading or transmitting, especially on a web site.  You can see the comparison in file size versus clarity in my earlier week 7 task  post.

I. Craig, et al. (2007). `Do open access articles have greater citation impact? A critical review of the literature’. Journal of Informetrics 1(3):239-248.

Date of submission: 16/9/10

Tags : Open_access and online_publishing

I chose these tags, because obviously this article is about Open Access and online_publishing.

This article is of interest because it examines the relationship between citation impact and Open Access: and finds that Open Access has little or no effect on citations. The article states that further research is needed, however these findings are  a blow to the OA movement (One of the main arguments for Open Access is that OA will increase the number of people reading articles, and thus increase citation impact). Therefore this article is of relevance.