Monday, October 05, 2009

The Book is Going , now part of the learn9 blog.

I am losing track of how often I am repeating myself. Could be confusion, may be some integration between the different blogs I write on. Mostly on the blogs for drupa and IPEX I have speculated that Adobe Classic is coming to an end and that Adobe(FLSH) is the best way to think about where they are heading. This week is even more so, so much so that I think I should have concluded something a while ago.

Adobe MAX is just in California, with web links. They have reduced most real space appearances outside the USA. I don't think they were at Print09 in Chicago, not with much of a spend anyway. The announcements so far are about using the same version of Flash on a desktop or mobile device, improved video streaming and adding more Flash to Livecycle as well as PDF. No announcements at all about PDF or EPUB and e-books. So I think the classic Adobe products around Postscript and PDF are no longer considered to be worth promoting. Hard copy books are not that interesting but a Portfolio in Acrobat now uses Flash to add video and animation to PDF.

Meanwhile I have been following the online discussion on the Networked Learning Conference website. This is the first time i have had the sense of real content being exchanged. Previous online discussion has been quite limited. There will be a series of "hot seats", weeks in which someone will undertake to respond to most questions. Last week Caroline Haythornthwaite covered "Learning in Social Networks and Networked Learning" to start things off. Chris Jones raised a question about resources such as books and how they should be shown as part of a network. They do not have the interactive features of individuals in a group. I realised this is a way to explain the changes in publishing methods through use of sites such as Scribd and Mendeley. More on this later. I need to find out more about the theory of networks. Most of the people on this site assume some prior knowledge so I am not crashing in as much as I might. I do try to push the use of graphics and YouTube links. There is now a sandpit to try this out. So far I think the site is designed mostly for text and mostly the academics are quite happy with this.

So plenty of disruption to come if Adobe have any sense at all in where they concentrate promotion. I do not think the book will vanish, just be part of a wider form of communication that is mostly based online. Later in October there will be a Futures Conference at the London College of Communication. More on this later.

By the way, if the PDF scene is not worth promoting it could mean that the margins will start to drop. There has not yet been an Elements take on Acrobat similar to the Photoshop and Premiere. Why not forget about the Flash elements and just do an affordable software for working with PDF. There are various alternatives but an Adobe approach to this could be interesting.