Thursday, July 24, 2008

Christian Digital News

We read that 7,000 vendors and retailers attended the 2008 International Christian Retail Show in Orlando last week. This is a $4.6 billion industry and one that is not holding back when it comes to technology.

Zondervan launched its Symtio, in-store merchandising program. Its based on the tried and tested display of card jackets to promote the volume of titles available without the inventory and space. The Customers purchase a title by buying the card which they take home and download the book from the Symtio Web site in the format of their choice. This is the same as Go Digital’s offer of games and software in Borders in Oxford Street. They expect 300 titles to be available by later this year.

An environmentally green solution, that gets customers into the store with no transportation of the books and no trees felled. However it is a single publisher solution, driver by the publisher and is exclusive today and not inclusive of others.

The other interesting offer was from who offers a portable audio Bible device which is preloaded with the New International Version, King James or New King James version of the Bible. It provides nearly 75 hours of unabridged audio for $99.95. Some may say its just a MP3 player with a preloaded Bible but its appeal may be just that. No software, no downloads and no computer. It comes with more than 200 popular Bible stories; and a feature to search more than 31,000 verses.

Just as the CBA closed we also read that The Codex Sinaiticus, which is considered the oldest known Bible will be available online in high definition images as part of the British Library digitisation programme.

The Codex is a complete transcription of Christian scriptures in Greek, written by scribes around 350AD. The handwritten Greek text are the earliest surviving copy of the complete New Testament, and the earliest and best copies of many of the Jewish scriptures. More than 100 pages of the Bible will go online and include 67 from the British Library and dozens from the University of Leipzig. More delicate pages are planned to be digitised as part of a £650K project to reunite the Codex.

The remainder of the Codex is still held by St Catherine’s monastery in Sinai, Egypt, where scholar Constantine Tischendorf unearthed it in 1844.The entire Codex comprises 1460 pages.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Thanks for writing about Symtio! One small correction: Although Symtio will be launched by Zondervan, it is a multi-publisher venture. The Baker Publishing group will be participating at launch, and the program is open to other publishers that would like to participate.