Dec 212010

…in bullshitty publishing industry insiders’ insights.

When I saw this term for the second time today, on page 6 of the flashy “ebook” at zmags (a warm greeting to the surprisingly numerous iPad users who read this blog), I thought it might be worth analyzing whether I was missing something in past years or whether this is a new fad in publishing industry analyst lingo. The latter is true, obviously:

until Q1/2001 Q2/2001–2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
0 33 63 102 206 968
the table above as a hockey stick diagram, having its inflection point in 2009

A hockey stick, that’s what every vertical’s analyst strives for

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Dec 052010

As a proud, although specwise so far inactive, IDPF member I stumbled across the first editor’s draft of EPUB 3.0. There are many features in the current early draft that are important to educational content, such as annotations or MathML3. I think that, beside other important roles that it will play, EPUB 3.0 has the potential to become the dominant school textbook format. The primary reasons are in my view:

  • HW/SW vendor neutrality, open standards:
    • A broader installed base of reading systems means economies of scale for the textbook vendor
    • Neutrality is especially important for markets where public procurement and/or public curriculum definition dominates, as in the German school textbook market
  • EPUB’s design metaprinciple of embracing and packaging mainstream user agent technologies: a promise that interactive applications may be developed more cost-effectively than traditional learning applications

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