TOC Keynote- Kevin Kelly, Wired

What Technology Wants, Kevin’s new book.  He says it’s the last paper book he’ll write because he is learning so much about digital publishing.

Kevin’s keynote discussed “What’s Next” in his view and he offered 6 trends (verbs), screening, interacting, sharing, accessing, flowing, generating.

Screening – screens everywhere, we are moving from people of the book, where author/authority go hand in hand, to people of the screen.  We are surrounded by screens, screens are becoming cheap enough to put anywhere.  This will be the context where we will publish books.  eInk, could it become bound into a flexible book? Screens are the portals into the machine for everything – books, TV, video, radio, web, etc..  One screen for all.  Orality – Literacy – Visuality.

Interacting – We interact with the screens and our gestures manipulate information, text, and other tasks.  Reading s a bodily conversation. Voice/audio books will become more popular.  Increase in the sensuality of reading. Will our books look back at us as we read them (eyetracking) and adapt to our attention areas or even mood.  Games – far more reading going on than we think.

Sharing – Our windows (screens)  are looking into the cloud and it’s looking back at us.  That relationship is the basis for a lot of collective, social engagement.  Reading can become much more of a social activity.  Marginalia can now be shared. Content will be interlinked and possibly linked into one larger text (he calls it the library, but the visual was wikipedia).  We are only at the beginning of sharing.

Accessing (not owning) – renting, people will get more value by accessing than owning.  The shift from ownership to access is a fundamental change. Kevin calculated it would cost $20K to store every single book in the world on servers, but why would anyone own it when they can just access it.

Flowing – stream, tag, cloud.  Things flow through in real time, there are no pages. Once they go by, they go by.  Publishing will become a stream based on the content, reader comments, author updates, etc. Real time, everywhere, never done, data.

Generating - there has never been a better time to be a reader – more quality, more selection, more access than ever before.  Everyone is benefitting from this new era, except the producers. Everything is moving to the free – he showed a Kindle price forecast visual where the kindle is free by November (based on buying a certain amount of content).  “As-if” zero price point.  Consumers will not believe that a book should cost more than $.99.  Pressure to be free.  The only thing that becomes valuable is that which cannot be copied. Easy to pay – hard to copy.  Showed example of National Geographic Magazine where the download was free (several hours) but for $6 you got an immediate download. Immediacy, personalization, authentication, findability, embodiment, interpretation, accessibility, attention are other things people might be willing to pay.

kk@kk.org