I'm fascinated to look at this company, Silverchair, which is touted as one of the fastest growing companies in the world. They are doing things to transform scholarly publishing in a way that is sensitive to the user. I want to learn more about them, but for now, thought I'd mention their name as I'm reading up on the evolution of publishing.
"Silverchair Information Systems develops products by partnering with scholarly publishers to transform content for a more valuable user experience on all devices. These products are then supported by a natively semantic platform and dedication to service we have worked to perfect over the last 18 years"
I quite enjoyed the thoughts in a write up of Brian's speech on the evolution of publishing. I like that this speech has evolved as his thinking evolved (so many speakers never change their speeches and they SHOULD). If this is something you ponder, and most of us teachers and definitely librarians, curriculum directors, and administrators are watching this closely, you'll want to read and think about this speech. While not easy to read in the bold black type, it is one of those worth taking the time.
""It’s time to think about content, not as a product or a service, but a vehicle to reach an outcome. Literacy is important as a step toward informing and empowering individuals, groups and communities, but on its own it is not enough. As reading experiences become both portable and increasingly universal, we need to reshape our sense of publishing and build "the library within us": a collection of tools and resources that individuals can draw upon to connect with and change the world around us.""
His most telling words
"A year ago, I was optimistic that publishers and supply-chain partners would soon see their mutual need for a data-driven reconsideration of why publishing exists and the purposes it can serve.
I’m no longer optimistic.
Another year spent wrangling over the role of libraries, another year spent kicking the can down the road with respect to the widespread and debilitating use of DRM, another year spent fostering the idea that we really have embraced “digital”: these things and more have convinced me that the “opportunity in abundance” will not accrue to the incumbents.
This became all too clear to me last summer. In January, I had made the somewhat ambitious pledge to “post something useful every day”. By June, 180 or so posts in, the optimism well had run dry. I just didn’t believe my own story any more."
“Value is carried by abundance, not scarcity, inverting traditional business propositions.”
“As networks entangle all commerce, a firm’s primary focus shifts from maximizing the firm’s value to maximizing the network’s value.”
“As innovation accelerates, abandoning the highly successful in order to escape from its eventual obsolescence becomes the most difficult and yet most essential task.”
: “As power flows away from the center, the competitive advantage belongs to those who learn how to embrace decentralized points of control.”
“The intelligence that matters most exists in boundless variety at the ends of a network, rather than in the mediated systems in the middle”.
network protocols should be designed primarily as means for those ends, rather than to serve the parochial interests of intermediary operators.”
A shift to networked publishing lowers barriers to the creation of content, but it amplifies the return for content providers who can leverage two-way communication and create, refine and evolve content products around the needs of the readers they serve.
Some of those solutions will remain what we have come to know as books, but many more will be conceived, developed and delivered in forms and for purposes that we have yet to fully grasp.
Marc Andreessen and his view that “it has become economically viable to build huge companies in single domains.” I alluded to five bets that Andreessen had made in the last 20 years. At a high level, these are his bets: