Keith Richards’s memoir, 7 million dollars and something much more important

Eoin Purcell

You can generally trust O’Reilly to get their priority right
And so it was today. When all anyone else seemed to want to talk about was this, they were considering the merits of CommentPress 1.0 [a new tool from The Institute for the Future of the Book] as:

a potentially significant evolution in blogging architecture

*For a better idea of what exactly CommentPress is read this little piece from the site:

CommentPress is an open source theme for the WordPress blogging engine that allows readers to comment paragraph by paragraph in the margins of a text. Annotate, gloss, workshop, debate: with CommentPress you can do all of these things on a finer-grained level, turning a document into a conversation. It can be applied to a fixed document (paper/essay/book etc.) or to a running blog.

Why do publishers care?
Good question. I suggest we care for the same reason we care about this two pieces of news: A clipping service from Exact Editions and a cheap e-reader.

We should care about the clipping service because someone is building tools to make our online content more useful and easier to utilise. CommentPress is another tool in a growing ecoshpere of tools and services that are making novel and new uses of content more likely. That makes our content more valuable. Seems pretty important to me.

And we should care about e-readers because we need a solid platform for that digital content to reside on. Sure we will get along fine as web-pages that reflow* according to the screen but people don’t always want to be tied to their laptop or PC when reading and that is where the e-reader will come in (if we are lucky).

So ignore the big money, big name news today and dig a little deeper. There is a lot to read about what really matters for this industry.
Eoin

For more on this Booktwo points in a nice direction

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3 comments

  1. Eoin — thanks for the mention of our clipping tool. This clipping illustrates a point of interest to book publishers: PDF files are really very insecure compared to PageImage-based systems such as Google Book Search. PDFs are much easier to pirate, and the pirated copies are much better value. {fingers crossed — the HTML which follows should render the clipping in the comment section of your blog}

    Press Gazette27.07.07Page 11

  2. No great surprise that the five lines of HTML were not accepted by the WordPress blogging service. Comment systems often will disallow complex HTML. At least the citation appeared in some shape in the comment. Here is a direct link to our blog which does use the Clipping from Page 11 of today’s Press Gazette.
    http://exacteditions.blogspot.com/2007/07/press-gazette-beats-postal-strike.html
    See the clippings in that entry from Martin Stabe’s article.

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