EDITORIAL EL FUTURO DEL LIBRO A MEDIDA DE CERLALC Segunda y ultima Parte
MH 2. In which niche markets/groups of readers will the new technologies be adopted most successfully? What type of book or (textbooks, commercial fiction, nonfiction, etc) will most readily adopt the new technologies? Within the genre of traditional literature, do you see novels, poetry and short-stories being published in new formats to any significant extent?
AP In spite of what I said before it is true that most of the current readers prefer and are much more used to be passive readers than earnest authors. None the less the blog explosion and the increasing way in which user generated content is spreading, shows that in the future the prosumer profile could eventually change even the way standard literature is produced, distributed and consumed.
Although there is no reason to mutilate or package differently the Western Canon, we may see new formats of fiction collaboratively produced. As for research, essays and non-fiction starting with the Wikipedia as template, so many new publishing formats will emerge not text-constrained that e-books should be seen as fantastic add-on to the ecology of collective reading/writing.
MH 3. If you believe that we will see a larger proportion of books being offered and consumed in digital form in the future, and a corresponding decline in the proportion of books being published in printed form, how do you see such changes affecting each of the following constituents: publishing houses, libraries, printers or booksellers? Do their traditional core competencies need to change and, if so, how?
AP As always happens with these innovation disruptions a mix of continuity and discontinuity will be in place. Publishers although in partial control of the digital content will have to invent new ways to distribute their material (including the possibility initiated with Seth Goodin several years ago of mixed models as paid written texts and free digital text side by side).
Although some libraries have abided to the change, the majority of them should foster new ways of distribution and further more publishers should envisage new formats for mass collaboration (Lawrence Lessig‘s second version of his early book Code showed the power of weblogs in the coauthorship). As for booksellers (their situation is similar to retailers, record stores or analog cinemas), ¿Will they survive? ¿Do we still need them ad middlemen? ¿Only chains and hyerspecialized stores will be able to run business?
MH 4. Do you think our traditional and current understanding of copyright needs to be re-considered in any way as a result of the impact of digital technology in the book industry?
AP Of course. here I align myself wholeheartedly with Lawrence Lessig, and the movement of the Creative Commons. Effective and enforced copyright laws following the Mickey Mouse trail run against all the phenomena we mentioned before such as collaborative authorship, collective intelligence, rip mix and burn innovation, abandonment of the tyranny of experts, etc
MH 5. Traditional printed books have symbolic value as repositories of culture, information, and learning. Do you see this symbolic value changing if readers choose to consumer content rather than books or to consume books in digital form?
AP As a short visit to the Library of El Escorial in Spain shows, books are a very powerful symbolic element as testimony to the preservation of our cultural heritage. It would be naive to diminish the weight of symbolic power that we associate bioth to huge and personal libraries by exchanging them for large plasma displays that supposedly encompass all of the world’s knowledge. Nonetheless, on the otrher extreme, we do not have to fall prey to the fetishism of the container. Repositories are something we will always revere. But instant access is not less important. And besides much more intelligent ways of linking information and crisscrossing it are in need that traditional books will never provide,
We need a mashup of the best of the textual achievements of the book and ditto for the digital book. Such a hybrid will withstand the menaces of technological evolution and at the same time will provide the comfort and reassurance that the traditional book has been handing to us in the last half millenium. Long live the book irrespective of how it looks. But be ready for Printing Press analoge disruptive changes in the decade to come.
Y se llovio todo el fin de semana. Algunas calles de Miami Beach siguen anegadas desde que un tornado les paso por aqui cerca. Cuando se levanta el viento no sabemos si viene uno nuevo o que. Mientras se gastan las ultimas horas del domingo en Coral Gables y ya haremos uno de los ultimos paseos por el barrio. Bye hasta mañana AP