Red Lemonade revisited: Enabling social in the book publishing space.

Open, Accessible and Interoperable are the three pillars of social engagement (@brianoleary), yet in the book publishing space, these principles are sacrificed by the dueling giants Amazon, Apple, Adobe et al. Meanwhile, the legacy publishers are fighting a rear-guard action of DRM. All of this just gets in the way of authors connecting to readers, which is the essential function that contemporary publishers should actually be providing. (@r_nash)

So let's look at it from a reader's perspective. Reading has always been a social experience, delimited by the reader's social network. The book club has been a standard form for social reading (think Oprah), while the simple recommendation of a friend remains the cornerstone (think goodreads). While the potential of the social network has exploded (no need to think), the support for social reading (collaborative reflection decoupled from space and time) has been generally limited to short format material in the blog space. For long format material (books), there are presently more social reading initiatives than you can shake a stick at, but they are generally being built in walled gardens (everyone in your reading group needs to buy from the same source and read on the same platform). This seems to make sense from the venture capital perspective, but from a reader's perspective, it stinks.

We'll seed the discussion with a review of the Drupal based social publishing project "Red Lemonade", which Clay Shirky featured in his keynote at Drupalcon Chicago (; (@cshirky)

Come join a discussion about how to help move authors and readers beyond the labyrinth of platforms, proprietary standards and walled gardens. What infrastructure is needed to support authors connecting with their readers in a context where readers can collaborate in developing their understanding of the content?

Note other events in the publishing space (please check the schedule for last minute gate changes)

Thursday at 1:00: dixon's presentation on
"How to build a scalable platform for today’s publishers

Tuesday at 2:45 - BOF: "Drupal as a Publishing Commons"
"Drupal as a Publishing Commons: Publishing Non-Traditional Content - Meeting content, Lesson Plans, ... you name it!"

Time slot: 


I think "social reading" -- shared notes or reading lists and more -- will eventually become a pretty big thing.

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