Earlier this week, OCLC held a “FutureCast” meeting in Washington, DC. I was asked to talk about “The Futures of Publishing”, drawing upon work done last fall and this winter to prepare earlier versions of “Context first”.
To help bring more publishing examples to the OCLC audience, I expanded earlier work that had characterized four implications of content abundance. I’ve posted the full address in October and February; in this post and three to follow, I’m publishing just the new text for each of the four implications.
The first observation claimed that “content must become open, accessible and interoperable. Adherence to standards will not be an option.” For OCLC, I added:
The current proliferation of file formats, rights management schemes and device-specific content is unlikely to persist. Content consumers – readers – will increasingly look for content that can be accessed across multiple platforms on a real-time basis.
Content access may be provided through cloud-based services, and the bulk of what we currently think of as book sales may migrate from product to subscription sales. But, much as professionals look for standard interfaces in database products that they buy today, readers will want and come to expect similar interoperability in the content they acquire (or lease).
Tomorrow: “To compete on context, publishers will need to focus more clearly on using it to promote discovery.”