Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bob Stein at SMARTLab - For me ignorance is not bliss

SMARTLab Wednesday * LIVE BLOG * 5ish

Listening to Bob Stein, the director of the Future of the Book - who is demoing sophie -an application that he says makes it easier for people to say/publish books without having having to learn complicated programmes - assembling media rich doc.

There is a simplicity that he highlights about the programme thus making it easy for anyone to publish, wthout say knowledge of Flash.

Bob has an extensive rich past in innovation.

He founded a company called Voyager Company, which Wiki says was the first commercial CD Rom publisher.

He's worked with ther noticeabe figures e.g. Alan Kay at the atari resarch group.

He started off showing us images of how they imagined accessing info from a database back in 1981, effectively the wireless network we see today.

He said they hadn't imagined that you'd put things in ie. the database future web was more about content taking out and not the conversation of people, or people being the content.

He showed a page from *Sleepwalker, and how he was influenced by Carla Hesse, that showed huge margins where the author had put into comments. Also referred to a book called The book that nobody read

Made me think once again how the future really was invented in the past.

He showed a couple of books of people they're working with or have been associated with

Bob said the future of books worked with one author to research and create his book in public using blogs etc rather than the traditional route e.g. bury your head in the library.

The outcome he says was universal comments back that: It's no longer the author speaking its the book speaking.

Rather reminds me of a something I read of Chris Anderson, The Long Tail, who says his book was developed through reader comments.

What Bob says they're trying to do is expand the boundaries of the book.

Paraphrasing he says books hide the social realations that underpin the book. ie social network is hidden and that means something which adds to the books essence.

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