Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Reading/Writing: Not Dead Yet!

There has been much talk of late about how publishing is dying and no one reads anymore. Clive Thompson’s article on “The Future of Reading” in this month’s Wired magazine paints a more hopeful picture – at least for publishers that can free themselves from our severely outdated publishing model (especially for books). They can do this, Thompson argues, by embracing new means of delivery that can actually promote more reading and reinvigorate our encounters with the written word. 

Clearly, current technology still has to catch up in order to realize some of the more interesting concepts, but I suspect that will happen sooner than we think (probably in the form of fully interactive, colorful, high-quality, conveniently portable e-Readers that will make today’s Kindles look like Betamax – and not leave people longing for the good ol’ paperback). And it will enable the kind of enhanced content consumption and experience of the written word that Thompson describes in his article.

This scenario is already beginning to be played out in nearly every form of media today (music, video, writing): in the creation of communities around content and in mash-ups and user-generated content that takes some impetus from the original works and, in so doing, then transforms and expands them. Those forward-looking enough, Thompson asserts, can truly “unlock the potential of the written word.” Now that’s something to be jazzed about.

No comments:

Post a Comment