Here’s what I’ve been reading (and listening to) this week:
What do the words interactive, audio/video, social, modular, desktop, and mobile have in common? They were all used by John Wiley’s Peter Balis during his Digital Book 2010 presentation to describe inkling, an end-to-end platform for mobile learning. Peter’s presentation focused on how we learn now and beyond. He demonstrated many interactive digital content products and inkling was one of them. It’s due out in the fall of 2010 and is designed to work with learning content on the iPhone and iPad. Here’s a cut/paste of the vision statement from the inkling website:
… That’s why we’re building Inkling: a flexible software platform that replaces static, printed material with content that’s centered around the learner. We’re committed to empowering students to learn however they want, wherever they want. In the process, we’ll make education better for everyone involved.
Something tells me we will see a lot more from inkling and similar products supporting a flexible, digital textbook future. Other Digital Book 2010 presentations are available online from OverDrive, Ingram, O’Reilly, and more.
Last week LJ and Credo Reference sponsored the webinar, Reference: The Missing Link in Discovery. I had the pleasure of presenting at the webinar with Joe Janes from the University of Washington. The archive of the webinar is available on the LJ site.
Several questions were asked by participants which Joe and I could not answer live. Those questions, and answers, are below. We welcome your comments and further discussion on the future of reference. Continue reading Reference: The Missing Link in Discovery – Q/A from Webinar
Gale announced today the availability of the AccessMyLibrary (AML) School Edition app for the iPhone. The new K-12 version allows students to find their local school library — (grade schools, middle schools and high schools) and access the vast array of Gale resources the school library has purchased on their behalf. Students can use the application to locate their school and then will be required to authenticate for the school year, using a password provided by the school.
Continue reading Gale’s AccessMyLibrary School Edition iPhone app
Last years law suit against 4 Universities piloting the Kindle reader as a eTextbook solution has done a lot to guarantee the accessibility of textbooks to all students.
Ingram Content Group, working with the American Foundation for the Blind consulting group (AFB Consulting), announced a new disability release for their eTextbook platform – VitalSource. The release, which makes the application more usable for disabled students, contains extensive internal feature and function enhancements, as well as support for third-party screen-reader applications. These new features include the new DTD (Document Type Definition) v3.4 and VitalSource’s “MathSpeak” program which adds rich English-language articulation to MathML tags. With this release, VitalSource is the only eTextbook platform on the market to offer full accessibility in downloads, online, and mobile access points for content. Windows, Macintosh®, and online updates are expected in June, and iPhone®, iPod Touch®, and iPadâ„¢ releases in August. Continue reading Accessibility Release for Ingram’s VitalSource Bookshelf
Last Friday I spoke with John Russell, Director of Business Development at Encyclopaedia Britannica. John and I discussed Britannica’s mobile strategy including the new apps for the iPhone. John’s interview
Wow, great news for those of us with Apple devices. OverDrive announced today the availability of their free app – OverDrive Media Console for iPhone – in the iTunes store. Users can now download audiobooks (from their local library or a retail site) via wireless network directly to their Apple device. I am very excited about this since I was unsuccessful at downloading library audiobooks from OverDrive for my recent vacation, something to do with using a MAC instead of a PC. The For more information and to download the app, visit – http://bit.ly/OverDriveiPhone or see the press release. Android users, hold on to your hats, your app can’t be that far behind.
While not the full Encyclopaedia Britannica, the app contains “a version of one of the world’s most trusted encyclopedias with accompanying images and maps, fast article search and look-up functions, minimal memory space, and much more — directly on the iPhone!”
Some of the features available for the app include:
- 25,024 unique articles covering all aspects of human life;
- 800 accompanying colorful images and maps;
- “History” feature shows the last 100 looked-up articles;
- Auto-complete function;
- “Wildcard” search feature allows the user to find names, even if their exact spelling is unknown;
- ‘On This Day’ feature allows you to learn what happened on any calendar day in history;
- Access links within articles for immediate informationâ€¦ and much more!
The app may be downloaded from iTunes for $24.95.
I was introduced to a company at the TOC Conference by the name of Digital Divide Data. I had no idea what they did, but upon learning more about them, became very impressed with them. DDD is an international non-profit organization involved in the conversion and digitization of books, journals, and other content. They can create eBooks in ePUB and formats to fit with the Kindle, iPhone, and other eReading devices. But the most impressive part of DDD is how they digitize. They recruit and train young Cambodians and Laotians who are trapped in the circle of poverty. These individuals are trained in various IT skills for 6 – 8 months. If they meet the DDD requirements, they are hired to perform IT services for global companies and spend half of their day in school, earning a degree in 3 to 4 years. DDD often hires graduates for management positions and many move on to other careers and fields where they can earn nearly 6 times the local salary. For more information on DDD, visit their site – particularly the area for getting involved.
TOC – The real title of this presentation is…. So an Author, a Publisher, and a Reader Walk into a Bar… Feb. 24
Speakers: Malle Vallik, eHARLEQUIN, and Bob Carlton, LibreDigital
Bob and Malle discussed online marketing and what is working to move units. They felt this would be a great conversation in a bar, thus the title. Some highlights from the session are below.
- What influenced your buying behavior? Bowker asks every year in a survey – last year, 30% said they were influenced by online marketing.
- Hand selling drives unit sales – publishers have known this all along, but now research finally confirms this Continue reading TOC – Online Marketing, What is Working to Move Units
Day One, TOC Conference, about 1200 attendees in the North and South Ballrooms of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Good lineup for keynotes this morning including: Peter Collingridge with Enhanced Editions, William Patry with Google, Skip Prichard from Ingram Content Group, Sameer Shariff from Impelsys, and Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post.
Andrew Savikas, Program Chair started us off with intros.
Highlights are below from each speaker. Continue reading TOC – Tools of Change Keynote Speakers
Selling in Mobile Markets – Rana Sobhany, VP Marketing at Medialits in NYC (firstname.lastname@example.org)
TOC Conference – Monday Feb. 22nd, 9 – 12:30
I came to this session after the morning break, so I missed the first 90 minutes. Rana was a great speaker – lots of stories, examples, and practical information – no death by powerpoint! The notes below are from the last hour of the presentation, which focused on building applications. While this presentation was directed to publishers, the information is pertinent for libraries too. We surely won’t spend $50K to develop an app, nor charge anyone to download, but the marketing, measuring, and testing are all relevant. The very last bullet point is critical for libraries wanting to develop mobile apps. Continue reading Tools of Change – Selling in Mobile Markets (tips for apps)
I received an email about an upcoming webinar sponsored by Aptara. It will be on Thursday, March 11th. More details are on the Aptara site. Here is a summary of the webinar taken from the invite:
In today’s digital-centric world, the new market leaders certainly won’t be those offering traditional content products through traditional channels. From Kindle to iPhone to iPad, eBooks are a path to vastly more effective mobile content delivery. And whether you produce trade and consumer publications, textbooks, technical white papers, or product user guides âˆ’ as technology rapidly enables more intelligent, interactive content âˆ’ new strategies are required to bring products to market faster, more profitably, and in a way that future-proofs your publishing efforts.
In this interactive 60-minute webinar, content strategist Scott Abel, aka The Content Wrangler, will lead an insightful and lively discussion between intelligent content management maven Ann Rockley and digital publishing innovator Dev Ganesan. These three industry experts will discuss key challenges and offer practical solutions for implementing intelligent content strategies and optimizing publishing operations. Learn how to transition from traditional methods to innovate and profit from this new age of digital publishing.
Article in the NYTimes today about Amazon purchasing the start up company, Touchco, based in NY. Touchco’s touch screen technology is cheaper than the iPad/iPhone technology and is said to recognize an unlimited number of simultaneous touch points. Looks like Amazon is drawing the big guns. Rumor has it they have finally open up the Kindle to development for applications – about time. I’m thrilled with all of these new devices and technologies. First generation readers just didn’t do anything for my taste, so I’m very excited to see how the device of the future unfolds.
Have you heard about blio reader, the free ebook reader from Baker & Taylor? I got a demo of it last week at the American Library Association conference in Boston. It’s pretty cool, offering full color and audio for any open system – MAC, PC, iPhone, netbook, etc. Blio was developed by a gamer – very cool and wise decision in my opinion. Even children’s books looked and sounded good on this reader. Some cool features I saw included:
- full color
- text 2 speech (TTS) – which sounded pretty good
- track audio down to the word, start reading again at the exact word
- embedded multimedia
- page turning
- highlight word and get a definition
- reflowable text
- change font
- some titles were narrated, depends on publisher
- publishers can edit/control the voice for text 2 speech reading – change gender, tone, speed, etc.
blio will be available for the retail market in February with access to over 1 million free ebooks and a large selection of trade/childrens titles for purchase, through the online bookstore. B & T plans to expand to the library market in the summer of 2010. The website offers a comparison chart of various ereaders. Check it out.
From an OverDrive Press Release:
OverDrive Expands International Distribution for eBooks & Audiobooks
Leading booksellers and libraries in Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Norway, and the UK join global network
(Las Vegas, NV, January 5, 2010) — Consumer Electronics Show — OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the global leader in eBook and audiobook distribution, announced today that it recently entered into agreements with top booksellers, publishers, and libraries on five continents. OverDrive will demonstrate its global network and success in enabling access to 400,000 digital books on popular devices, including PC, Mac®, iPod®, iPhone®, Zune®, Sony® Readerâ„¢, nookâ„¢, and DROIDâ„¢ by Motorola®, at CES booth #12145 on January 7-10, 2010.
Continue reading OverDrive Expands International Distribution for eBooks & Audiobooks
Attended the Bowker/AAP webinar on consumer book trends for 2009. This focused on Q3 numbers in 2009 with a close look at 2 user groups – 18 – 29 year old males and 30 – 40 year old females. My notes are below, pardon the typos, was typing fast and furious to catch the data.
- Tina Jordan, VP AAP – moderator
- Kelly Gallagher, VP Publishing Services, Bowker – speaker
Bowker announced yesterday that 1/3 Americans cutting down on book purchases Continue reading Webinar Summary- Consumer Book Trends 2009 – Hosted by Bowker & AAP
From a Gale/Cengage Press Release:
Gale Announces New iPhone Application
Library research? There’s an application for that!
Farmington Hills, Mich., Dec. 16, 2009 — Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the launch of the AccessMyLibrary (AML) mobile application for the iPhone — making access to library research just a click away on a mobile phone. Continue reading Gale Announces New iPhone Application
Bowker and AAP sponsored a webinar today on US Consumer Book Buying. It was incredibly well organized and full of good data. My notes and comments are included below.
- Tina Jordan (AAP) moderator
- Kelly Gallagher (Bowker) speaker
2009 data, first 6 months, based on what consumer is buying/reading
- 2008 – e-commerce the dominant channel for book sales, beating out brick n mortar
- 2009 – so far, large chain bookstores are back at the top
- Consumer is King and defines the marketplace, we can’t publish like we used to – the old supply/demand model.
3 indicators – impact of economy, competition for leisure time, product selection (genres, formats) Continue reading US Consumer Book Buying webinar, summary
November 30th. Barnes & Noble nook – $259.00. It looks pretty cool, check out the nook video on the B&N site. Here are some cool features:
- runs on 3G network
- wireless download of over 1 million titles
- $9.99 titles
- daily updates of news sources
- full color navigation of titles
- lending titles to friends!!!
In fact, here is the small print about lending titles to friends – “Most eBooks can be lent for up to 14 days at a time. Just choose the book you want to share, then send it to your friend’s reader, cell phone, or computer. You can share nook to nook, but it doesn’t stop there. Using the new Barnes & Noble LendMeâ„¢ technology… you will be able to lend to and from any iPhoneâ„¢, iPod touch®, BlackBerry®, PC, or Mac®, with the free Barnes and Noble eReader software downloaded on it.”