Here is a post by Jim Cashell at the Forum One Communications blog, INfluence. Notice its date.
The Death Of Books?
Thursday, October 27. 2005
“In years past, global knowledge was captured in books. Educated people with access to a library could tap that knowledge.
“Now, global knowledge is mostly captured in the ‘knowledge cloud’ of cyberspace. Anyone with access to a computer (or, increasingly, other devices) can tap in. The knowledge cloud comprises digital forms of all types of content — web sites, papers, articles, audio files, video files — all in formats that are easier to search and access.
“The content ‘odd man out’ is books. By and large the content in books remains trapped in books with little access in cyberspace. Google is trying to access that trove of information with their Google Print initiative. Yahoo and MSN have signed onto a competing open source venture. Because of technical and legal obstacles, both ventures are at least a decade away from offering comprehensive results.
“This means that, at least for the time being, books are one of the worst vehicles for global communications. With respect to the global knowledge cloud, books are “information prisons”. They might be great for credibility or appearance, but in 2005, they are not a good choice effective communications.”
Now consider this article that appears in the August 24&31, 2009, issue of Newsweek. Malcolm Jones doesn’t think books are dead and neither do I. Here’s what he says:
Books Aren’t Dead
“The number of books in print in 2008 rose 38% from the year before (which itself was up 38% from 2006). Where are all those books coming from? Both mainstream and self-publishers have contributed to the flood. But the real answer lied in university libraries, which are suddenly hawking publishing rights to the contents of their stacks – or at least what’s out of print or in public domain. Latest example: the University of Michigan (partnering with Google for the digitization and with an Amazon off shoot called BookSurge for the printing) plans to offer more than 400,000 titles for sale on demand. Cornell plans to do the same with 500,000 titles, and the University of Pennsylvania plans to add another 200,000. Publishing obituaries may be much like Mark Twain’s, premature.”
What do you think?