Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Some general news...

A couple interesting tidbits in the news this week. If you receive LJ Dawson's The Big Picture newsletter you would see some short synopses of these stories. Her newsletter is worth subscribing to (that is free) but getting access to archives costs money. Two stories she reported this week, also reported elsewhere, are interesting to note, however.

In the first, she reported on how Amazon has instituted a policy whereby print-on-demand publishers selling through Amazon must use BookSurge (owned by Amazon) for their books rather than any other POD service. This is an interesting move, and received some fairly negative responses. Part of the concern comes from the many thousands of books not in a digital format that is compatible with BookSurge. The challenges with content convergence is just another sign that digital while digital is getting closer, it is not quite there yet. We need to develop better standards for content exchange so that consumers and smaller content providers are not negatively affected by the sometimes high costs of content conversion -- or the limitations that not converting can have on distribution options.

The second interesting story reported this week is a piece on how Ebay has stopped allowing the sale of purely digital products, citing feedback manipulation. Those who have ebooks or other downloadable files to see can use Ebay's Classifieds application. I have not looked into this story further yet, but it is interesting to see that even a company like EBay has trouble selling digital products -- although their problems might be different from ours. I wonder -- are the classified digital sales right next to the personals section? MWM ISO good EB w ETU DRM. :)

No comments: