I co-chair the Harvard Digital Publishing Collaborative and this week we had a great session on metadata for academic publications, with guests from CrossRef and Lumina Datamatics. The presentations can be found on our website.
I co-chair the Harvard Digital Publishing Collaborative, and we had a fantastic session with our guests Sanders Kleinfeld, Director of Publishing Technology, O'Reilly Media; Joshua Tallent, Chief eBook Architect and Jenifer Lyman, Content Services Chief, both of Firebrand Technologies. They discussed digital-first publishing workflows, ebook production and distribution, and content management systems. Below are the topics they discussed. Their presentations can be found on our initiative website -- here's the blog entry with download links: http://digitalpub.abcd.harvard.edu/blog/meeting-presentations-2515
Sanders Kleinfeld: Publishing with the Open Web Stack
Joshua Tallent: Production Tools & Resources Overview
Jenifer Lyman: eBook Distribution & Sales Channels
Our next session is on April 2nd and will focus on Web Accessibility. We'll have two very special guests: Peter Bol, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning, Harvard University, and Richard Schwerdtfeger, CTO for Accessibility, IBM.
The Pew Research Center issued a report entitled The Digital Revolution and Higher Education (report available online and in PDF format here), with the tagline "College Presidents, Public Differ on Value of Online Learning". The Center is a non-partisan 'fact tank' that does not make policy recommendations, but rather "collects information and disseminates it in an understandable and analytical way, rather than producing expert opinion on policy subjects". Here's a brief overview of the report's Executive Summary.
As an academic content provider, Harvard Business Publishing's Higher Education group distributes business content to educators who then post that material on learning platforms. But often times our content and other publishers' content is distributed by 3rd party content aggregators who then sell directly to educators. Historically there was a clear distinction between content providers (publishers and aggregators) and the learning platforms on which their content was distributed/used. That's no longer the case -- there has been a massive convergence of these entities across both web and devices. Here's some that piqued our interest.
The textbook landscape is changing so rapidly that it's hard to
pinpoint current state in order to benchmark it against possible
evolutionary paths. But in general we who deal in fairly-priced,
atomized pieces of content have long benefited from an industry that
welded content to the ultimate unwieldy platform - the overpriced,
bloated textbook -- and then embarked on a forced-upgrade revision
cycle that ultimately drew Congressional wrath. But that industry is
fast-reforming and the reforms are worth noting for both consumers and
competitors alike. Here's a brief recap of some of the activity.
The post-Web 2.0 world has a lot to offer those seeking channels and tools to publish and distribute their content. As I work for a small-to-mid-sized, 'official' publishing house, I'm biased at some of the content, services, and options that we can still offer that smaller players and systems can't always match. But the quality and quantity of self-publishing options is still impressive and growing. Here is a quick recap of a few options for 'small industrial' distribution and beyond.
Last month some colleagues and I attended the O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference in New York. This conference explores new business models for publishers, new avenues for digital distribution, evolving content workflow models, etc. Here's a recap of a few of the sessions.
It's an exciting time for consumers of digital content as a variety of eReader and eBook formats and channels are becoming available -- the market is clearly growing (although perhaps not yet cannibalizing print). That makes it a challenging time for content providers and publishers since there is obviously no one standard or channel or device for reaching content consumers. Here's a high-level snapshot overview of some of the key players at this time -- this will quickly change but hopefully the details should provide some insights that endure for a bit longer.
This post is divided into:
Content Creation Tools
Content Conversion Vendors
Hardware Device-Based eReaders/Channels
In reality these categories can quickly become blurred -- Kindle is simultaneously a device and a format and has its own channel. So you'll see some names repeat across categories. But approaching it from this perspective is helpful and is one of the only ways you can maintain some clarity when exploring this complicated environment.