Archive
  • Unbounded Coverage
    In what should be the last of the round-ups of the Google Unbound conference, but probably won’t be, some more commentators: Why don’t people care enough about literature to steal it? by Stephen Leavitt at the Freakonomics blog Quit Marketing By the Book – a comprehensive write-up by Rebecca Lieb at Clickz.com How to be Cory Doctorow – Seth Godin’s notes from the conference ZDNet’s Report “Interesting bit of media industry theater” – if:book’s Ben Vershbow at the conference I’ll stop now....
  • Guarding the legacy
    Today’s Guardian has a short piece with more Google follow-upping: The iPod has done it with music, Flickr has done it with photos, MySpace has done it with bands and Saatchi is doing it with paintings. The question is: can Google do the same thing with books by creating an international online market place for them enabling readers to download volumes in their entirety – at a price of course – to their iPods, Blackberrys or smartphones? Luckily, the Guardian’s Vic Keegan is more clued-up than Bryan Appleyard – for example, he’s been trying out iCUE too. He’s also ...
  • Information vs. Knowledge (the Times they are a-changin’)
    Lots of recent activity in the British press concerning future books: last weekend’s Sunday Times contained not one but two pieces on the subject. The first piece, Google plots e-books coup, reports on the Google Unbound conference we mentioned last week. Unfortunately, it’s all fairly techless, reporting that “the internet search giant is working on a system that would allow readers to download entire books to their computers in a format that they could read on screen or on mobile devices such as a Blackberry” (er, Gutenberg?) and “commuters in Japan were already reading entire novels on their ...
  • Bubbles in space
    Kim White over at the Institute for the Future of the Book has a great post about the sea change coming to books. Alongside screen technology (e-ink, &c.) and the breakdown of the traditional author/reader divide (the networked book, &c.), White identifies another key factor in the evolution of the book: 3D visualisation. As we’ve said many times over, Book 2.0 only needs to look enough like Book 1.0 to kill it, then it could look like anything. This is why we’re interested in technologies like Second Life that – once you get past the smut and avvie bling ...
  • The deadly mimic
    Best bookish news from this years CES show in Las Vegas: iriver, best known for their pretty iPod competitors, have announced a rather pretty ebook. A direct competitor to the Sony Reader, iriver’s ebook takes the looking-like-a-pbook game to the next level: two facing e-ink ‘pages’, both touch-sensitive for easy page turning. It takes AAA batteries for what iriver claims will be up to six months use, and to top it all off it comes handsomely bound in leather. The prototype E-BOOk (which is apparently the annoyingly capitalised name) runs Adobe Reader LE – a mobile version of the ...
  • eInk Off the Page
    Via MobileRead, an extraordinary visualisation of the possibilities of e-ink by a London-based designer. Instead of book pages however, vast expanses of the London Underground are papered over: For a higher-res version, see Alex Griffin’s website (under Design E*Ink)....
  • Google’s Un-Bound
    This looks like it should be very interesting: Six centuries ago, a German metalworker tinkered with a wine press, metal alloys and oil based ink, perfecting one of history’s great inventions: the printing press. With the rise of mass publishing, more people than ever were able to access information. Books proliferated. Today, digital technology offers a similar opportunity, and the Internet now represents a powerful platform for promoting and distributing books. Online book sales alone account for nearly four billion dollars in annual US sales—almost 15% of the entire book business. [More] If anyone is going, I’d love to hear ...
  • Poetry on demand
    The Poetry Archive is a fantastic example of what the connected, high-speed web can do for literature. Inspired by a meeting in 1999 between the UK Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and the recording producer Richard Carrington, it provides recordings of English-language poets reading their own works. It’s a wonderful idea, exactly the sort of thing a Poet Laureate should be coming up with and promoting, and exactly the kind of resource that the Internet can handle so well. The archive is quite small at the moment (not to mention mostly male and entirely white, which seems pretty unforgiveable), but can ...
  • Pap Idol
    From the Guardian: “Touchstone, an imprint of the publishers Simon & Schuster, yesterday launched First Chapters, a competition designed to find writing talent through the internet. It is inviting unpublished authors to submit the first three chapters of a manuscript to the scrutiny of the voting public. The winner’s book will be published and distributed by Touchstone and the author will enjoy a $5,000 (£2,575) cash prize.” As publishers seek ever new ways to attract an audience, such gimmicks as this seem increasingly common – the UK’s Richard & Judy show’s How to get Published was a talent show ...
  • The future of what, exactly?
    A very Happy New Year to all Book Two readers. I hope you had a good one and are all ready to look to the future once again. Christmas was not a good time for the UK book trade and I’ll be talking some more about this later, but in the meantime I’m flagging up an upcoming conference I’ll be attending, which isn’t all about books, but perhaps it should be. Carson Workshop’s Future of Web Apps is in London in February. Now in its second year (details of past events here), FOWA brings together the people behind such ...
  • 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.

    You can follow me on Twitter.

    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.