Posts tagged: e-book

The Book Is the Web Site, and Vice Versa

Jim Hamilton
 Oct 22, 2009

As the print-on-demand book concept gains increasing acceptance, it strikes me that its popularity should solidify another interesting possibility: a book as a web site. What I mean by this is that a book should be available on the web in its entirety, not necessarily for free, perhaps sponsored by advertising or password protected for access only by a subscriber, but the source file for the book should be a web site. When new information is added or errors corrected, they should be immediately reflected in the book. The web site would be easily browsable and searchable while the book would represent the physical record, to be consumed at leisure without the need for an energy-consuming computer, mobile device, or e-reader. It would be readable in fifty, a hundred, or five hundred years. The web site would display its content dynamically to suit the real estate of the computer or mobile device screen while the book would benefit from typical book features such as headers, footers, page numbers, a table of contents, and an index. The printed book (or e-book) would be generated automatically only when an order was taken. The book’s content would reflect the latest version as reflected on the web site. The two would be one, and yet different.

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