Opening the Book (Kennedy, 2013) discusses the digital book, connections, future, and human relationship(s) with communication:
Every “book” is a story of human memories, with producers and consumers; a microcosm of information and encoded knowledge.
What does a scroll and book have in common? Both are analog containers of recorded stories, packaged in a way to be read and transported by humans.
A digital container is a less restrictive form of the analog physical media. Networks transport bits and bytes from one node to another. Within a container, hypermedia content enables a multi-directional approach to information in any digital format imaginable; as exemplified by the Web . What differentiates a website from other Internet of things, is that it is a container of multimedia with attributes to identify the package as a website, rather than a data bits floating in the World Wide Web ether.
Hence, a website can become the digital version of a book, as the application Pressbooks compiles the web pages for export to another container format such as EPUB . A WordPress Pressbooks site by itself is an HTML package that is part of a larger content management system.
Although the current Pressbooks output is restricted by export parameters, it is possible to create a format converter for the HTML content. In example, there is a Pressbooks export beta code to transform HTML into LibreOffice document format. The challenge is to map the internal Pressbooks elements (existing format) to the external container elements (new format) as a parallel interchange.
The digital media creates a different environment from the previous traditional hard copy media. Marshall McLuhan predicted the change of the book from individual to crowd users in the following presentation:
The proposed next generation knowledge and story container is the MEM. The term MEM can be interconnected and interlaced with memories (imagined and/or real). Humanity has focused much energy and resources toward preserving memories, snapshots in time, from cave wall paintings and petroglyphs, to pictographs and digital media. A MEM is an appropriate inheritor of the “book” container; or “memook” for interim transitioning from the analog “book”.
A MEM is a digital container that represents a clustered reality and snapshot of that reality in time. Example applications of MEMs are:
- Focused knowledge
- Just-in-time tasks
- Asynchronous communications (dynamic MEMs)
- Synchronous communications (live MEMs)
- Socially constructed (collective MEMs)
- Connected (distributed MEMs)
CBC TV. (2009, March 24). Marshall McLuhan – The World is a Global Village (CBC TV) [Video]. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeDnPP6ntic
Kennedy, P. (2013, February 25). Opening the Book [Radio Documentary, 53:58]. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/opening-the-book-encore-february-25-2013-1.1646075