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.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Will increasing digital create more information black holes?

In an article published last week the New York Times reported on developments in digital at Amazon. Yet again, this is an interesting news story with signs of both the amount of experimentation going on in the marketplace, and the expectation that we are nearing the tipping point for digital content sales.

Just two days ago Ingram Digital reported in a news release that the number of e-books sold by the company in March 2008 surpassed the previous record by 50 percent. The article notes that "Ingram Digital’s recent record performance confirms the current upward trend in e-book consumption."

Of course, for those holding out against any uptick in digital, the following news story might be encouraging. "Researchers uncovered black holes across the Internet," reads the headline. Actually, it is actually kind of interesting in its findings -- discovering that a percentage of the computer connections they tested worldwide have what the researchers call "partial reachability" -- a scenario where content just gets lost going from point A to point B, even when a stable connection is believed to exist. Chalk one up to Internet astronomy -- I think I will remember this news story the next time I am delayed from posting content to the blog.

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