Saturday, December 20, 2008

Review of our 2008 Predictions - 2. Context

At the end of 2007 we made 10 predictions for 2008. Many predictions made have now been conveniently forgotten but we stand by our thinking at the time and believe it appropriate we openly review these individually and see what we think happened and assess them appropriately.

2. Context – widgets , widgets everywhere. The effect will be similar to when book jackets were first developed in mid 90s and the impact will be as great. Rich metadata will be the order of the day. Bowker and Nielson will have to respond but may find the world has moved on again.

Well widgets did start to appear in the many forms. Some looked smart and clean others not so tidy. The major aggregators all declared and started deliver and of course Amazon and Google just moved their agendas forward with purpose. Did the Bibliographic agents respond – we think not?

We think the widget as we knew it as a cheap and cheerful ‘look inside the book’ has happened but has failed to fully live up to the marketing potential. Rich metadata however has exploded with major houses investing in many digital experiments to promote books. The experiments have often been so disjointed it leads us to question whether any dots have been joined?

The big question is how we now harness what is clearly an opportunity to sell not just digital but physical books and make book buying more fun.

We think a disappointing 5 out of 10, do you agree?

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