The Revolution Will Be Digitized
Without a doubt, the World Wide Web has revolutionized publishing to a degree that is impossible to overstate. However, as the web evolves and connectivity becomes ubiquitous — devices become smaller, more powerful and more common — the future of publishing goes beyond just the web browser.
Slowly but surely, the novelty of reading a book or magazine on an electronic screen is going away. The world of auto-refreshing screens and digital newspapers that Steven Spielberg portrayed in Minority Report isn’t really that unimaginable.
While consumers needs and habits are making the shift from analog to digital a priority, it’s innovation and software that is ultimately powering what we can do. This is just the first of many phases in the digital media revolution. Right now, we’re taking older content and making it better and more accessible on a digital device. In the future, content is going to be built specifically for these devices. That’s when the script will really be flipped.
I don’t know about “taking older content and making it better and more accessible.”
Certainly more convenient to carry and I LOVE my ebooks (over 1000 titles in one device), but accessible? I need to take cords and chargers with me and have to be in places with wi-fi or within a 3G network (ever travelled in rural interior BC?) to be able to use the readers.
The word I see more and more when referring to the digital revolution is “ubiquitous.” Like the word very much, but not crazy about the implications of just what is ubiquitous: there is an implication that everyone should or would have access to the web and to devices that connect to that web. We know that, like the basic necessities of life, not everyone will.
So, until that day comes, I really hope that the analog ways still hang around, providing the words and books and ideas, reaching people and places that digital hasn’t yet directly touched.