The Kindle edition of our Platform Studies book, Codename Revolution, is just out, a couple of weeks in advance of the hardcopy. It was fun to download it and see it on the iPad and iPhone via the Kindle app–which is what I use to read most commercially purchased ebooks. But it wasn’t a startlingly new experience, since we had composed the book (wrote it and read it and rewrote it) in a string of environments, from early conversations on Google Wave to drafts in Google Docs, then out into MS Word and Apple’s Pages (and I think my coauthor George drafted some portions in LaTeX), from which we regularly exported PDFs for sharing and viewing–and especially for viewing the illustrations on mobile platforms. We’ve experienced the text in various electronic platforms since its inception. We’ve only seen it printed out once, as page proofs. So handling the hardcopy print edition in March will be a much stranger, more exotic experience, in many ways, than downloading and reading the Kindle book was this morning. This is all of course perfectly ordinary for text production of all kinds these days. The usual relatively closed genealogy of electronic texts descended from electronic texts. This is one reason all the talk of ebooks in the popular press sometimes seems so weirdly, willfully idealized.
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