The Digital Race Speeds Ahead

Last week I was down to New York for a day so I could participate in the BISG digital standards meeting, where work progressed ever so slowly on creating a version 1.0 document regarding standards for search and discoverability. Then a teleconference with the IDPF regarding business cases for ereading, a meeting chaired by the ever entertaining Director of Digital Content & Interactivity at Harlequin Enterprises, Malle Vallik.

This along with announcements from the likes of Borders and Waterstone’s in the UK regarding proposed support for ebooks in April and July, the launch of the Google API for books with implementations from loads of users including It all made me think that the pace of the digital race is picking up these days

Of course let us not forget Penguin’s decision to release, on Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader, some classics of English literature. With regards to Penguin’s announcement I think we can see how short sighted some publisher’s digital strategies are. Jimmy Guterman critiques the Penguin approach as just one more missed opportunity in the ebook ecosystem.

It seems some publishers just can’t wrap their heads around the free-conomy of digital. Maybe what we need isn’t another conference on digatisation but a month long bootcamp. Heck, the bootcamp could even be a new reality t.v. show with take home prizes like a free admission to every O’Reilly conference for 2 years, an Iliad ereader, or an all expenses paid trip to Apple Corporate Headquarters for a face-to-face with the ipod team.