Tools of Change – Networked, Mobile and Landlocked, Current Ereaders

Tools of Change – Networked, Mobile & Landlocked – Current Ereaders – Feb 22 11:45 – 12:30

Liza Daly and Keith Fahlgren

Requiem for an ebook shopper – consumer perspective on devices available

Liza showed a interesting slide with the interconnectivity (or not) by popular readers, very complicated to buy a book (consumer says, the hell with it, I’ll just buy a movie).  We don’t care so much about devices, it’s something that consumers will choose based on their liking.  What we should be concerned about is interoperability. Last year it looked like this would happen, but things have really changed.

Keith discussed the concepts of books in the cloud. In a cloudy world, networking wins; devices without web connections are not landlocked, they are landfill.  If you have to plug your computer in you won’t get the benefits. Will there be enough benefit for businesses to allow for interoperability?  Keith isn’t sure of the answer. He speculated with a few examples of buying books in one bookstore, purchasing a new device, and having to repurchase the same titles.  There is a real potential for consumers to not care about this again.  If we have a networked device that gets us a book when we want it, change devices, and still have my books travel with me along with bookmarks and annotations, it is a great concept. The move toward the networked world really differentiates the print and digital book world.

Keith and Liza brought an assortment of readers to show and opened for Q and A.

What is your take on enhanced ebooks and device support for flash vs. html?  It will be easier for folks who take the browser based approach. Short term winner may be the company who can develop applications to support flash.

DRM, what do you see happening now? DRM is totally messing everything up (back to Liza’s slide demonstrating the lack of interoperability b/t devices)  Is there a lighter weight of DRM that we can get to?  That’s where the cloud comes into play since there are titiles you can download and they aren’t necessarily in a particular file format.

Liza’s slide was really perfect.  I’ll try to get permission to post it here.  (look at slide #10 on this presentation)