Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dead In The Water?

Has the world gone mad? We have all read about the various companies who sold bottled tap water as natural spring water. We have seen the scene in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ where the water bottle top is being resealed with glue. Now we read about a German publisher who plans to sell free Wikipedia material designer print on demand works.
Some may applaud their innovation and the ability to monetize what many view as free.

The essence of Wikipedia is to be a living and evolving point of reference. It encourages online input from all and in doing so democratizes the work. It also encourages online peer review providing auto correction and validation. It strength is that it is being constantly appended, edited and referenced. The new venture works contrary to this and the reality is that the moment it is captured in print it no longer is Wikipedia and becomes just another dead tree.

So we now have a tie-up between PediaPress, Wikipedia and Lightning Source. Where Lightning Source will be responsible for all the printing, Wikipedia obviously the database and source and some may suggest PediaPress for bottling the water from the tap.

The service uses an authoring tool that ‘plugs directly into the Wikipedia sites’ so users can pick and choose for their on-demand titles. The 20x14cm books are perfect bound with colour covers and black-and-white text pages. They will retail at around €7.99 for 100pp up to €26 for 700pp.

It must be getting close to April 1st!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This will be a great tool for a user who would like to compile a series of subjects or related articles into a cohesive document. While we are in a digital age, not everyone enjoys consuming content over a computer screen. What not give the consumer a choice in how he wants to consume the content. Of course, it does cost money to print a book, so it can't be free. Tap water is not free either last time I checked my water bill.