Thursday, October 28, 2010

Penguin UK Exploring New Digital Frontiers

Today's post comes to us courtesy of the UK's Telegraph which, on Tuesday, ran a story titled "Penguin to Launch a Social Network for Bookworms."

Penguin Digital founded the content website Spinebreakers three years ago as a place "where teenagers write about books and authors."

Anna Rafferty, the managing director of Penguin Digital, said teenagers cannot use the website "to communicate, which is why I want to transform the site into the first social network dedicated to books within the next six months."

In addition to reworking the Spinebreakers website, Penguin Digital is exploring other digital frontiers. Last month, Penguin Digital launched Stephen Fry's autobiography, The Fry Chronicles, both as a hardcover and as an "interactive ebook" along with an iPhone app called "myFry." The app enables:
... users to read sections of The Fry Chronicles in any order using a colour-coded index ... “This non-linear structure allows you to create your own personal narrative,” promises the app ... myFry’s unique visual index encourages users to discover and interact with Stephen’s story in new and unexpected ways.”
A little over a year ago, on September 17, 2009, I said:
Today reading is primarily a solitary experience, even for those people in book clubs who join together after the fact to discuss a book they've read ...

In the very near future, people will be able to read a digital book in a social networking environment. They'll be able to comment on the material being read in real time ...

Think about a thousand teenagers reading the next Twilight in a virtual reading room with the author available to talk about the characters and plot.
Good for you, Penguin!!

Go here to read the entire Telegraph article.

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