This is an ongoing research project through the summer of 2010. The goal of this project is to create the basis of digital publishing for mobile devices. A prototype of the kind of work is available here:
The project has included the creation and consideration for a simplified way to surf through a publication consisting of articles and images. As a prototype this is developed for devices such as the ipad, iphone and other mobile touch screen devices (still under testing).
The reasoning behind this project is to enable anyone to create and share a publication for mobile devices without their work necessarily having to pass the review panels of the App store, Google store, or eBook publication services. Currently the only business creating these are ones with sufficient funds to do so.
Publications that are expected to be a part of this kind of project include brochures, catalogues, flyers, zines, magazines, etc. The goal is to eventually allow the downloading of the separate creations without requiring a specialized reader. Initially it will be done through a reader based around a community of sharing, creation and recommendations.
To keep things simple, currently a publication is viewed internally as a simplified set of variables:
- Publication Title
- Issue Number
- Publication Date
- Byline or description
Inside of the publication there is an array of articles, each consisting of:
- Article Title
- Article Author
- Author Bio (from their overall user account)
- Text Content (one continuous flow of text)
- Image content (consisting of several element URL’s in an array)
The people involved in the community, registered as members can do several things under the free guidelines of the proposed service:
- create publications
- invite others to participate in a publication as authors
- can author content in a publication
- can comment on uncompleted content by invited authors
- They can also participate in reviews and recommendations of completed works
- they can download and read free content
- they can pay for and download non-free content
- they can flag or tag content for removal or designation as adult or questionable.
The format of the content is a basic table of contents portrayed as links, a background image which can be changed while reading, and a low of text from the chosen article. Each publication is static and unchangeable (although versions can be modified and re-uploaded, replacing the previous)
The method of interacting with content may be upgradeable in the future, including better and more consistent animations, incorporation of movies, integration of advertisements, and alternative forms of payment (app store, google store, paypal, etc)
The belief is that if digital publishing is free and does not include the elevated cost of printing, it should be open and free to everyone. Those who do decide to charge for their work should have a more open and agreeable system in place that does not involve censorship or discrimination. Their ability to publish should be determined by the community of peers.
Gerry Straathof. Madt 401.