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.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Text Comparison Plug-In Causes a Stir

A textbook price-comparison tool has been making a lot of news, particularly after reports surfaced the tech start-up that developed the Chrome plug-in was threatened with a lawsuit by a campus retailing company. Texts.com only had about 200 downloads for its add-on software before news of the lawsuit went viral, which swelled to 15,000 downloads within days of the report.

The Chrome plug-in is an opt-in feature students can install that will show prices from third-party vendors such as Amazon, Valore, and Chegg. It interacts with the end-user’s browser and works with bookstore websites maintained by Barnes & Noble College, Follett Higher Education Group, and Nebraska Book Co., according to The Wall Street Journal.

WSJ also confirmed that Follett sent an email to Texts.com expressing concern that the extension was changing “the presentation of information on the screen.” The start-up rebuilt the extension and rebranded it as #OccupyTheBookstore.

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