Sunday, April 18, 2010

Impress Your Professor: Everybody's Doin' It

Two huge news items this week concern two of the most popular and most hyped things in the digital world: Twitter and the Apple iPad.

The big news of the week was the Library of Congress's decision to archive Twitter. Many questions about this surprisingly (to me) controversial decision are answered in this interview with the LC's Martha Anderson at the American Spectator. This is an interesting move in the history of digital preservation and seems to move even closer toward legitimizing digital publishing well beyond Twitter's 140 character limit.

It would also be hard to ignore the inevitable arrival of Apple's iPad. On the topic of digital publishing, however, more interesting is the backlash against its policies toward publishers and app developers. In addition to widespread discontent over Apple's decision not to support Flash, Cory Doctorow writes the iPad off because it is glued shut and there is no way to get in the box: "if you can't open it, you don't own it." Further commentary come from Jim Stogdill at O'Reilly who condemns the device for being a glorified distribution channel and a limited one at that.

But if we look at the machine simply as what it was initially hyped as - an electronic reader - its biggest flaw in this writer's eyes is the lack of a keyboard.

Time will tell if Apple will bend to publisher and developer demands or if creators and consumers will finally wedge themselves into Apple's mold.

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