23 May 2006

The Future of the Book?

The site Institute for the Future of the Book is certainly pushing the concept of the book hard in an effort to explore the idea and related issues. For example there are blog posts about a vaguely open content book, real collaborative fiction, even some thoughts on Linux kernel development. But the really interesting stuff is to be found in the site's projects.

There's Sophie, an open source, multimedia, interactive authoring tool (not out yet), and there's The Gates, which attempts something I've also fantasised about: gathering together and somehow amalgamating thousands of images of a particular place and event to create a kind of vast, multi-dimensional tapestry of people's memories.

It's based on Flickr (of course), but clearly requires something more: a new kind of tool for building such a open, collaborative work. The ideas for this are sketched out here. Fascinating.

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