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TEDxMadrid - Justo Hidalgo - Future of Books

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Good evening. The future of the electronic book has been heavily criticized. It has been said it has edition and manufacturing mistakes, that we just think of selling books. It is funny that these same claims were stated against the printing press in the XVth century! It was even said that the printing press was like a prostitute. The eBook has been constantly under attack, and, in fact, we can even find doubts about the future of reading. However, the book has survived. The book has now finished its time on earth, and goes to the clouds so all of us have access to them, so we can reach them through the internet. But, curiously enough, this offers a series of elements that I want to mention during the minutes I have: conversation among readers, the discovery of books as a present, and openness. Conversation has always happened outside of the book. Inside of the book there was only marginalia, the side notes that, though as beautiful as the ones you see here by Isaac Newton, had their limitations, they were static and limited. But now, we can talk inside of the book, we can have conversations inside of the book. We have broken the wall between the book and the readers. And, moreover... ... we can talk to authors... to the living ones! In addition, the author becomes, again, an author and a bard: that is, she listens to her audience and evolves her work from what she listens from the audience. Regarding descovery, of course, discovery is fundamental when we have millions of books. And that is great when we know what we want; but, to me, it is much more interesting to discover what we do not expect. Bookcrossing is a precious project where we can "free" our personal library so others can discover it on the street. Bookcrossing is serendipity... ... but twitter, linkedIn, Facebook, ... are also serendipity, places where we can find books from people we know nothing about and that can amaze us as it has never happened before. Or even more: the book DNA. There are people trying to generate this book DNA so that we can get recommendations of similar books, or totally dissimilar ones, from their DNA. And I do not want to focus too much on the related research, but, for instance, of all these projects you can see here I love the one trying to elaborate and find the sentiment and emotional analysis of books... I am moved when I think about it! And, at last, openness. The new standards, formats, etc., allow us to integrate audio, video, images, programming, ... which, only perhaps, might enable us to define the book as an application container; this leads us to some interesting questions, such as: is this edition of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land", or this tale for pre-teens about the adventures of a Troll, a book, or an app? Well, there are people that say that, nowadays, information is digital, and beauty, of paper. And I certainly agree, but it is a short-term future. Shortly, reading will be neither digital nor paper reading, but just ... reading. And this is already happening. Challenges? A lot. The role of the industry, that is changing like you cannot imagine. If the book is on the cloud, what happens if it rains? That is, the dependency we have of the services that provide us access to our books. The comments, that are too noisy sometimes and that prevent us from having a relevant conversation. Or even, as it happens with other products, these recommendations that do not make much sense: if I buy a PC card, why am I recommended condoms? Purchasing a card does not make me that sexy. These are all great challenges that everyone wants to solve. Because, for me, these books have shaped my vital map, they have defined what I am. And now, they will simply be my GPS. Thank you very much, if you are interested or you cannot get enough of the talk, take the picture now, or take it a little bit later. Thanks a lot!

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 44 seconds
Country: Spain
Language: Spanish (Spain)
Genre: None
Views: 68
Posted by: tedxmadrid2011 on Oct 26, 2011

Justo Hidalgo has created 24symbols, the spotify of books, a space where books are in the cloud, and they are nobody's and therefore everybody's property. According with his vision, the future of books is stronger than ever. Books will be open spaces where marginalia will be open and shared, and where author and reader will be much much closer. And where multimedia will enrich thye reading experience bringing the reader to an infinity of parallel worlds

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