"The Future of the Book is a design exploration of digital reading that seeks to identify new opportunities for readers, publishers, and authors to discover, consume, and connect in different formats.
As more people consume pages in pixels, IDEO designers wondered why we continue to discover and consume the written word through the old analog, page-turning model. We asked: what happens when the reading experience catches up with new technologies?
The team looked at how digital and analog books currently are being read, shared and collected, as well as at trends, business models and consumer behavior within related fields. We identified three distinct opportunities - new narratives, social reading with richer context, and providing tools for critical thinking - and developed a design concept around each one.
The first concept, 'Alice,' turns storytelling on its head by making narratives non-linear and participatory. With Alice, the story world starts bleeding into the everyday life of the reader. Real-world challenges, like acting on a phone call from the lead character, or participating in photo based scavenger hunts, unlock new aspects of the story, and turn other readers into collaborators or competitors. Alice is a platform for authors to experiment with narratives, to allow their stories to transcend media, and to engage fans in the storytelling process.
The second concept, 'Coupland,' makes book discovery a social activity by allowing readers to build shared libraries and hear about additional texts through existing networks. Coupland makes it easy for busy professionals to stay on top of industry must-reads. Businesses can assign book budgets to their employees and build collective libraries through a group-licensing model. Personal recommendations, aggregation of reading patterns, and the ability to follow inspiring individuals and groups help ensure that Coupland users always are tapped into the latest essential content within and outside of the organization.
The third concept, 'Nelson,' connects books to commentary, critique, and contextual information, letting readers explore a topic from multiple perspectives. Nelson reinforces the role of books as carriers of knowledge and insight. Readers can explore polarizing material and see whose word currently has the greatest impact on popular opinion and debate. Layers of connected commentary, news, and fact-checking augment the core book content - providing greater context and encouraging debate and scrutiny.
Each concept features a simple, accessible storytelling format and a particular look and feel. We believe that digital technology creates possibilities, so our solutions truly adapt to the new environment, rather than emulate analog qualities onscreen. For example, we resisted any temptation to move books closer to the bite-sized character of other digital media, because longhand writing encourages immersion (deep reading) and reflection."
"Finally, there's 'flattr', which is a nice name. A micropayment service that lets you simply add a button to your stuff to let people make micropayments to you, for your stuff. From back in the mid '60s Ted Nelson had a vision for micropayments, and why it mattered. We are now moving there. This is the beginning of simply catastrophic change for industrial media. Why? Well when I decide that my tiny annual subscription to The Age [Melbourne newspaper] is not worth my $55 (I don't think it is worth that right now actually), and I instead send that money, even as 55 x $1 to 55 other creators I value, the revenue model for industrial media collapses, and a new one arises. The only change I have to make is to recognise that what I spend on purchasing media is merely a habit, and not providing that much value, so rather than just save that money, why not redirect it to those who are making value for me?"
(Adrian Miles, 20 April 2011, vlog 4.0)
"2). Everything Must be editable, quotable, annotatable - all the time by everyone. This is not optional. It must, however, be clear what has been modified, and who made the revisions.
3). The same information can be structured-viewed-formatted in various ways. Simultaneously having multiple dimensions and views. Potentially infinite dimensions will allow the same data to be included in vast numbers of sets, lists, and structures. Each user can have many unique personal dimensions linking all the documents they have ever accessed. They will be able to view these dimensions on any Internet connected computer, thus in effect, allowing their complete personal computing environments to follow them to any available screen in the world. By following along their personal time dimension from past through future, it provides a simple chronological organizing structure. You could even have a dimension linking all your favorite dimensions created by others. The real world will be one of the transparent overlays, it will be that other reality. It will be the strongly predominant display in mission critical situations, such as driving and close encounters with loved ones."
(Jack Seay, 6 February 2005)
"In this one-hour documentary produced by the BBC in 1990, Douglas falls asleep in front of a television and dreams about future time when he may be allowed to play a more active role in the information he chooses to digest. A software agent, Tom (played by Tom Baker), guides Douglas around a multimedia information landscape, examining (then) cuttting-edge research by the SF Multimedia Lab and NASA Ames research center, and encountering hypermedia visionaries such as Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson. Looking back now, it's interesting to see how much he got right and how much he didn't: these days, no one's heard of the SF Multimedia Lab, and his super-high-tech portrayal of VR in 2005 could be outdone by a modern PC with a 3D card. However, these are just minor niggles when you consider how much more popular the technologies in question have become than anyone could have predicted - for while Douglas was creating Hyperland, a student at CERN in Switzerland was working on a little hypertext project he called the World Wide Web..."
Adams, D. N. (1990). Hyperland. UK, BBC Two: 50 minutes.
"The earliest published design for computer hypertext was a 1965 ACM article (peer-reviewed) which canonically defined our work . One of the authors (Nelson) presented a sweeping view of hypertext as visibly cross-connected by two-way links and transclusions* (illustration from that article reprinted).
* I define 'transclusion' as 'the same content knowably in more than one place'; therefore, any presentation which indicates the identity or origins of media content. There are other meanings of 'transclusion' which are special cases. For instance, 'transdelivery' means bringing content from elsewhere, 'transquotation' means explicit quotation which remains connnected to its origins. Vannevar Bush's famous 'trails,' described in 1945 , were transclusions, not links."
(Theodor Holm Nelson and Robert Adamson Smith)
0). Theodor H. Nelson, "A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing and the Indeterminate." Proceedings of the ACM 20th National Conference (1965), pp. 84-100.
1). Vannevar Bush, "As We May Think." Atlantic Monthly, July 1945; on line at elsewhere.