Having a Pressbooks based site to distribute open e-textbooks is a great start in an expanding OER world. However, in the universe of the Internet of things, key sites can be lost in the virtual hinterland. How can an open source e-textbooks site gain proliferation across the Internet?
One strategy is to augment web page metadata to enhance search engine optimization (SEO) for Google. This strategy is problematic when ever site is doing the same SEO, which results in a non-stop juggling to be on the top pages. It could be challenging to retrieve an open e-textbook solely on subject search, if there are many identical metadata. Alternatively, cost based marketing may elevate exposure or social network recommendations.
Another strategy could be to leverage the technology within Pressbooks Textbooks plugin that uses a Remix feature to aggregate online Creative Commons Pressbooks publications into a global catalog.
Figure 8.1 Pressbooks Textbook Plugin Remix Interface (Payne, n.d.)
However, the purpose of Remix is to pull and reuse content, rather than function as a global library. It would be interesting to have a plugin that creates a global catalog of all Creative Commons Pressbooks instances. A global catalog of open e-textbooks may offer localized hotspot WiFi libraries hosted in non-Internet zones, such as a train station, subway, and bus stops.
Currently the Remix function of the Pressbooks Textbooks plugin is the closest option for administrators to access the latest content from the epicenter of the original Pressbooks site. However content that changes at the epicenter is not relational with cloned sites, such that updates of chapters and epub files on the source site do not automatically update cloned sites. In addition, there is no notification of updated content in the same way that administrators obtain WordPress plugins update notifications.
A connectivity similar to the remix in Pressbooks Textbooks plugin could provide a manual/auto-update notification function for end-users. In example, a change in open e-textbook edition could initiate a notification in the global library of changed content. A side-effect of such a notification is that it would be more advantageous to change content to promote net awareness of an open e-textbook.
Payne, B. (n.d.). Pressbooks Textbook. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from https://wordpress.org/plugins/pressbooks-textbook/