Today's post hits a milestone for this blog -- our 500th entry. We now have over 21,000 readers from 142 different countries. Thank you to our followers. We hope the blog is meeting your expectations. Please let us know what else we can do to improve the blog, other stories you would like to see reported, or topics where you would like to see more information.
The CITE is now nearly 18 months old. Over the last 18 months we have seen great growth in announcements regarding e-readers and e-reader technology, although it is also equally clear that there is not yet an optimal reader solution available on the market. There has also been growth in interest for alternative approaches to the traditional textbook, most of which involve technology in some way or other.
Later today NACS will be releasing a press announcement regarding a new partnership among some of the leading college store retailing groups -- along with a new e-textbook initiative for stores that will be owned by the industry. A copy of that announcement will appear here in a few hours. We anticipate additional announcements later this year for other new initiatives in the print-on-demand (POD) space, as well as additional partnerships that will enable collegiate retailers to provide content in ways that generate a wider range of affordable options for textbooks and other types of content. In my opinion, the current announcement will send an important message to the collegiate retailing industry that if we choose to remain viable through the coming transition, we must collectively demonstrate the capability and credibility of the industry to provide new and real solutions to the textbook affordability problem. Where digital solutions and new technologies are involved, few stores can do this on their own or will be able to survive if they remain with a store-specific solution absent of industry standards. Today's announcement will encourage standardization of efforts among leading industry groups in an effort to reduce the costs of improving student choice and store offerings.