March 8, 2007
The future is electronic print?
Paul has a great post at Velcro City Tourist Board, entitled Science fiction Magazines Dont Have To Die.
I agree with pretty much all of it, electronic media has to be the way forward, and embedded adverts does seem a "better" method than micro-payments.
This reminds me of the initial discussion at the BSFA AGM last year, where the discussion was along the lines of "if we give away our magazine content why would people join the BSFA?". It was, however, lead from a Science Fiction Foundation angle, which is somewhat academic, and therefore, in my opinion, somewhat removed from the real world. I sat there shaking my head, thinking "you have your heads in the sand!". Behind me Bruce Sterling sat scribbling in his notebook, then at the end of the day he exploded everything I was thinking into an hour long tour-de-force of why you can't run from how things are now. Not the future, now. We use Google, Wikipedia, You Tube, Technorati and so on...you can't run from it.
(Yes, Bruce Sterling agreed with my thoughts, but history will probably say that I agreed with him.)
All of this seems so obvious, and so talked about, why are we still talking about it? Why isn't something happening? (Or why is it happening so slowly?)
The one downside to electronic print, for me personally, is that I prefer reading from paper. Everything electronic gets filed on my harddisk or in delicious and my "to read" queue gets bigger and bigger. For some reason I just never print things out to read (paper costs!). So maybe that's the technical hurdle we have to overcome, the true paper electronic screen? (Get your act together Sony et al.) As stated many times, the killer app for electronic print is a book version of an iPod (done well). After that would everything be different?
Jason Stoddard reckons that I'm wasting my time wishing for the Killer App Ebook reader. "No corporation in its right mind would put the R&D money into developing such a product. Producing a specific-use device for a tiny niche market... Read More