World E-Reading Congress
Whether it involves newspapers, books or magazines, e-reading has become a hot topic in publishing, technology and branding circles. The inaugural World E-Reading Congress 2011 in London brought together publishers, technology providers, and other participants best described as “futurologists” to look not only at how new devices and new consumer habits are re-shaping the publishing world, but also at the way writing is monetised.
Event chairperson Maggie Philbin, longtime technology reporter for radio and television in the United Kingdom, kicked off the event with a look back at the BBC’s Domesday Project from 1986. As part of the 900th anniversary of the publication of William the Conqueror’s “Domesday Book,” which provided a detailed look at life in England in 1086, the BBC enlisted thousands of schoolchildren to each document for posterity a two-mile area around them, using video, writing, and photography. The results were then burned onto laser discs to be stored for future generations.
However, unlike the book that can still be read nearly a millennium later, just 10 years after the BBC project the laser disc was obsolete and unreadable without some very expensive – and retro-styled – technology. Fortunately, the BBC has managed to transfer all of the information onto the Internet, but the point is clear: books work.
So how can publishers leverage content and technology to ensure that today’s e-readers will not go the way of the laser disc?
INMA sent correspondent Paul Skeldon to cover this event, which took place at the Royal Garden Hotel in London from May 9-11, and he sent back these highlights from the most relevant sessions.
09-11 May 2011
Royal Garden Hotel
London, United Kingdom