Tuesday, October 23, 2012

‘Your e-Book is reading you’

The rise of digital books has prompted a profound shift in the way that people read, according to a recent article by Alexandra Alter for the Wall Street Journal:
“In the past, publishers and authors had no way of knowing what happens when a reader sits down with a book. Does the reader quit after three pages, or finish it in a single sitting? Do most readers skip over the introduction, or read it closely, underlining passages and scrawling notes in the margins? Now, e-books are providing a glimpse into the story behind the sales figures, revealing not only how many people buy particular books, but how intensely they read them.”
Reader satisfaction has largely been gauged by sales data and reviews, according to the article. These figures offer “a postmortem measure of success but can’t predict a hit.”

Alter reports, “That’s beginning to change as publishers and booksellers start to embrace big data, and more tech companies turn their sights on publishing.”

I located this article via the Twitter stream for my Cuesta College course on Internet ethics. Implications addressed in the article include concerns for privacy as well as the effect on creativity.

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