Archive
  • LCACE & Hiatus
    I was invited to participate in a discussion convened by the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Enterprise (LCACE) on the subject of future publishing. Unfortunately I can’t attend, but I highly recommend going if you can – it’s a very interesting panel who should have plenty to say. Details follow: Educating the Next Generation – Convergent Media and Publishing 23rd November 6.30pm – 8pm Venue: Kings Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, King’s College London Educating the Next Generation – Convergent Media and Publishing will focus on how new technologies and converging media platforms are changing the nature of publishing. It ...
  • ICUE & mBooks
    Yesterday I was given a fascinating demonstration of ICUE, an application which allows ebooks purchased from the ICUE store to be read on a mobile phone. There are three reading modes: a simple down-scrolling page, a sideways-scrolling ticker, and ‘flicker’, which flashes a single word at a time, at a speed of your choosing. The latter is surprisingly comprehensible, and apparently allows much faster reading than a person’s norm. According to Managing Director Jane Tappuni, ICUE is popular with lots of people who wouldn’t normally be big readers; kids especially. She made the good point that while for many ...
  • We-think
    Back in the UK, Charles Leadbeater’s next book is available online for comment. We-think is less immersive than other network book projects, but it’s great that Profile, joint small publisher of the year, have allowed this to go ahead – most publishers shy away from releasing content free. We-think is about the power of mass creativity, charting the rise of mass, participative approaches to innovation from science and open source software, to computer games and political campaigning. The website interface does not make dipping into the book very easy, sticking to a more linear style – there’s also a ...
  • Making MediaCommons
    Over at Planned Obsolescence, Kathleen Fitzpatrick has put out a call for contributions to making MediaCommons, the Institute for the Future of the Book’s latest project. There’s lots of ideas here, not least In Media Res, initially described, and then hastily retracted, as ‘YouTube for Scholars’. Every week, scholars upload media clips and an accompanying criticism, creating a discussion around media that goes somewhat further than the usual video sharing flame wars. Go join the debate....
  • Wark on
    We quite clearly can’t get enough of McKenzie Wark (not least because he just dropped by to tell us about an older network book project, Speed Factory), and he’s recently been interviewed at Creative Commons. As well as quoting Laurence Sterne, always a good sign, he notes that Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle (which we like almost as much as Raoul Vaneigem’s Revolution of Everyday Life) has been available for free online for years, but the print edition still sells well too. Giving away content for free is the great taboo of the publishing world (see ...
  • Seeing clearly
    As accessibility is the watchword of the web standards movement, it’s kind of depressing to hear that traditional publishing is serving the blind and partially sighted community so badly: research for the Royal National Institute of the Blind found only twelve per cent of maths and eight per cent of science GCSE textbooks were available in a format which could be used be visually-impaired children. The RNIB has led accessibility programmes for years – notably Daisy – and I happen to know it’s currently at work on a new XML-based standard for transferring all newly published material to accessible ...
  • Digital Natives
    Last week, John Naughton, journalist, technologist, Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University and author of A Brief History of the Future: the origins of the Internet, gave an electrifying address to the Society of Editors conference, in which he attacked their newspapers’ demonisation of youth and technology. It’s reprinted in full in The Observer, but here are some choice moments: The novelist William Gibson coined the term ‘cyberspace’, and he’s as sharp as a razor. He also said: ‘The future is already here: it’s just not evenly distributed.’ As it happens, I think ...
  • The blueBook
    Back in the summer, I visited the Royal College of Art’s 2006 Summer Show (a longer review of which can be found over at Tom Coates’ plasticbag.org). One project that caught my eye was Manolis Kelaidis’ blueBook project, part of the Industrial Design Engineering strand. Manolis was kind enough to send me some more material relating to the project. As digital media in the form of portable devices, touch-screens and pervasive wireless networks offer new possibilities for interaction, the traditional book starts to look rather featureless when compared to electronic versions. But the traditional book has many advantages too ...
  • Where do you buy your books?
    For me, there’s a few answers to that – the most important one being: very rarely from a high street bookseller. I don’t see why anyone would. On the rare occasions when I want a newly-released book, and I’m not just rooting around in a second-hand shop, my first choice would be to buy it online, where it’s bound to be cheaper. Actually, that’s a lie. My first choice is usually to write to the publisher and ask for a review copy. Failing that, I wait for the paperback, and then buy it online. Only when in a hurry – ...
  • The right to copy
    Currently all over the blogs: think tank calls for ‘private right to copy’. If you didn’t know already, every time you rip a CD to your computer, and then copy that MP3 to your portable player, you’re breaking several copyright laws. Clearly these laws are out of date and ineffectual, but that doesn’t stop the various industry bodies involved from pushing to tighten them up rather than rewrite them. The news now, of course, is all about music, but the same arguments apply to books. Soon, ebooks will allow you to ‘rip’ your books to other portable devices, ...
  • Study Stick & MP3s
    Via Macmillan chairman Richard Charkin’s blog, an interesting half-way house on the ebook: a USB memory stick that comes pre-loaded with an ebook. The book in question is The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell, a “best-selling guide to academic success” providing “practical, no-nonsense advice on all aspects of study skills such as writing, revision and exams, critical and analytical thinking, time management and memory skills” and the package also includes a free twelve-month subscription to The Study Space which contains “additional study resources and expert advice” – which sounds exciting, but is in fact a site set ...
  • For Hire

    Booktwo.org is the blog of James Bridle, a book and technology specialist with specific expertise in planning and producing web and new media projects for clients in publishing and the arts. If you'd like to hire me, have a look at my CV and portfolio, and feel free to get in touch.

    I am also a member of the Really Interesting Group.

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    Speaking Engagements:

    I am available for conferences and other events. For examples, see my talks at Interesting, Playful, South by Southwest, dConstruct and Tools of Change Frankfurt.

    A complete list of talks, with links, is available.