New Business Model of Publishing

The article, Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, addresses a kind of interesting issue in the information age which according to Eisenberg (Eisenberg, 2008, Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age) indicates that information and technology skills are required for success in personal achievement. As author mentioned, there are publishing issues on the traditional model of academic publishing. Although, it was not dead, it seems like moving toward to new mode of publishing system. The blogs, as an example, are created every day or maybe every moment by any internet users. Through the blogs we share opinions with internet users. Can we say these bloggers are authors ? I think the answer is yes if we rethink authors in broad sense. In my opinion, we are watching the creation of new way of authorship in internet.

The impressive concept was addressed in this article. The author states new business model regarding publishing practices. According to her, the new business model means more focusing on services than objects and this new thinking is needed for publishers. I think this is very innovative thinking outside of the box.

Personally, I like book better than electronic books although book is an old media. If we consider our natural environment, however, this is the time we need electronic books. Anyway which one would you rather read, a book or an electronic book ?

The Fanboys Strike Back

The sections on fan culture really resonate with me on both a hobby and academic level.  The convergence phenomena greatly increase the ability for fans to reinterpret the mythologies they love.  But more importantly, convergence allows for fans to reinterpret the mythologies they hate.  This can come in the form of commentaries like Riff Trax, (a Mystery Science Theater type of film commentary) or in spoofs like How It Should’ve Ended (where plot conflict gets resolved via an alternate and more logical/likely set of choices).

But my favorite demonstration of convergence is when Star Wars fans refused to embrace The Phantom Menace.  Soon after the film was released on DVD and video, an alternate version of the film began to circulate. And professional cinema persons and fanboys largely deemed this phantom cut as superior to George Lucas’ imagining.  This example of convergence was not embraced by 20th Century Fox, even though the phantom director made no money off the film, having refused to sell it.  Property rights are property rights, I guess.

Convergence, in this instance, seems to bring together the author and reader in a way perhaps less noticeable in other eras.  I’m not entirely sure this is something that future professors are being trained for.

Embracing the digital book

Here is a interesting take on the digital book that includes a little bit of crowd-sourcing

Let’s not talk about video integration.
Or new ‘interface paradigms.’
These aren’t CD-ROMs from 1993.

Let’s talk about text.
Let’s talk about the digital book.

Metadata Mindfield

I found Fitzpatrick’s short section on metadata particularly fascinating. As someone who thinks a lot about metadata and its construction, I am always looking for new insight into this subject of study. Fitzpatrick raises two important points which directly impact the creation and future of metadata, “One of the problems that metadata poses for the future of digital publishing lies precisely in the difficulty of making maps of future terrain,” and “…the production of the set of metadata, as the production of any map, is always an interpretive act, indicating what the map-maker has found to be significant about the terrain.” One of the challenges with metadata is what to record and how to record it. If you record too much data you run the risk of the 1:1 map problem or as I like to call it the Ulysses dilemma where the key text is bigger than the original; conversely, if you record too little data it becomes useless or at the very least unhelpful. The issue then becomes how to record it i.e. what format will be extensible and robust enough to be around in 1, 10, 100 years.

Take the mess-o-metadata that is google books and scholar. They don’t even use the majority of the already existing MARC records supplied to them by the libraries they work with today. Instead, they are using an extreme form of mplp to get the data in and worry about the metadata (and copyright issues) later. The question remains if it will pay off for them.

Another issue related to metadata is controlled vocabulary which as an interpretive act can be contentious depending on what is being described. I know the LCSH has seen its far share of detractors for its glacial pace in adapting to change. This is one of the many reasons, among others, for competing standards to emerge like CCO, AAT and DACS.

I would, however, have liked a mention of the crosswalks that are surfacing of late between the various metadata schemes like CDWA Lite, MARC, EAD and Dublin Core.

All your base, indeed.

This might be of interest to some…

Today, Facebook removed its users’ ability to control who can see their own interests and personal information. Certain parts of users’ profiles, “including your current city, hometown, education and work, and likes and interests” will now be transformed into “connections,” meaning that they will be shared publicly. If you don’t want these parts of your profile to be made public, your only option is to delete them.

Professorial Access

One class period in my undergraduate years, a professor and I had the conversation.  Someone had joked about the teacher’s book profits.  A smile came on the professor’s face as he explained the politics of academic publishing.  He told us about how he hopes to break even and possibly buy a new toaster off his earnings.  We learned about how few people will ever read his books simply because of the sheer probability behind academic’s resource selection.  And we were told how the publisher’s markup ensured that only certain audiences and libraries would have access to the monograph.  It was as if the wizard’s curtain had been pulled open.

I love to write. I love to teach. I love to research. I love to learn.  And I cannot find any reason not to publish in an online, open source format except for ones steeped in fear.  The fears are certainly reasonable.  As Dr. Fitzpatrick has hinted, universities and presses aren’t completely open to the idea of digital media.  Tenure committees have a fetish for book-binding and dusk jackets. But I have seen more conversation in the introduction of Planned Obsolescence than takes place among the vast majority of printed monographs.

So I’m toying with an idea.  What if vowed to have all my work published first in open-source formats, and then in print?   As far as I can tell, I am either setting myself up for disaster, or am putting my money where my mouth is and becoming the type of scholar I’ve always wanted to be, an accessible one.  Maybe I won’t be able to get a job if I did the latter, but would I really be doing my job if I did the former.

YES! we need Cybercultural studies

Charting out what the texts and methods in cyber studies is extremely valuable in the consolidating and legitimizing the study of the internet. There are many people in different fields who are studying cyberspace, because it is becoming,(or maybe already is) a key element in most of our lives. We need to know what conclusions people have made, especially different approaches, but maybe I’m just biased as an interdisciplinary-type person.

Additionally, we need to understand technology and its role in our lives. This article is also pertinent to last week’s discussion, but using robots in the military just go to show that we are using technology as a substitute for tasks previously defined as human. I think we definitely need to consider what kind of ethical and social consequences this kind of technology for human swap is creating.

If you’re interested in our conference…

Here’s the website with our schedule for “What Can I Do With Asian American Studies?” if anyone is interested.

The mighty Google?

As we talked about the blending of cyber culture and real life culture and the impact of the Google or any other archiving system have, we continually come to idea that cyber and real life is coming closer and closer together.  There is no doubt that by the speed of Internet development/evolution  and our consistent connection to the Internet, our online life can continue to live long after our physical body abandon us.   But how big of a role is Google play in this I wonder?

The answer came to me when I read this post from Wall Street Journal.  True, this is just a rather run of the mill press release from Google’s CFO about their profit but consider this.  If Google wants to, it can measure the U.S. economic health by the trends and the volume of searches relating to job hunting.  It can even index all blog post, forums, tweets, and any other social communication to determine if people are talking about finding a job or got a job or got fired from a job.  Think about this, nowadays, getting even a basic low skilled job requires computer search and submission which in term translates to Google knowing about it. More and more telecommunications are moving to IP based and Google are investing not only to massive amount of data centers but also equipments for becoming Internet service providers.

Wow.. the possibilities are endless.  good and evil…

Cyberculture Studies?

The reading this week affirms the position that academia is not so static after all. My first experience as an undergraduate in college was filled with ancient scholars and philosophers, my thought at the time was that to be a scholar you have to be well versed in the works of Galileo, Copernicus, William Blake, Shakespeare, Newton, Socrates and the likes. I was fed with historical facts form ancient Greece and Rome periods. As student at the time I thought that African theories or scholarly writings were not embraced because it was not dated or ancient. This week’s reading challenges the academic status quo, academia is evolving and as long as there are inventors, there would always be ideas and concepts to study. The cyberculture study challenges the norms; it is not static, it is not old and it’s forever evolving (at least for now). Yes, we can reference the history of cyberculture to the 1940’s but it does not follow the trajectory of say Math or English discipline. The average Internet user is a social user, most academicians are not comfortable using the Internet and are embarrassed to acknowledge that they surf the Internet for academic source. The study of cyberculture is new and it has truly challenge me as a scholar; I’m forced to appreciate academics from a totally new perspective. I enjoyed reading David silver’s “Where is Internet Studies?” interestingly, I still don’t know where Internet studies is because it changes so quickly, but one can affirm that there are scholars, students and scholarly journals some of the criteria that make a study a discipline.