[Opinion] eBook 2.0?

Books are for reading, at least most people think so. However, wouldn't it be better if readers can both read and interact with the content? That's the idea of eBook 2.0 and Weekend Weekly City Guide is an example of such.


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[Opinion] eBook 2.0?

In Opinion July 28, 2010

Do excuse us if it sounds rude but we just don’t see what’s the big fuss with eBook.

Thanks to iPad, suddenly it’s eBook, eBook everywhere, when in fact E-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s E-reader have been around for a while. If you ask us, eBook is so 2007.

Please don’t get us wrong, we’re not demeaning the impact of iPad. On the contrary, we think ebook is just not hunky enough to be put in the same league with the awesome and multifunctional mobile internet devices (MID) like iPad. Given the business we’re in, we’d prefer to talk about digital books in the eBook 2.0 sense.

eBook 2.0? Now that’s something to raise eyebrows over…

You know how people struggled with the definition of Web 2.0? Thats the same case with eBook 2.0. However, shall we settle with a mutual consent that eBook 2.0 means digital books except with a bit, or loads of more interactive UI (user interface) and dynamism.

We want to explain to our clients why you should think eBook 2.0 in your next digital publishing project.


eBook vs eBook 2.0

A YouTube video is worth more than a thousand words. Let’s take a look at these two short clips first.

eBook, strictly about digital text

eBook 2.0, it’s about reader experience

Indeed, it’s unfair to compare eBook to eBook 2.0 as it’s not an “apple” to “apple” comparison. Since eBook is a direct digital adaptation of text, the nature of the reading consumption is essentially the same. That’s why people always compare eBook to hardcopy and can easily get entangled in the perpetual debate of which offers genuine reading experience.

You don’t get that with eBook 2.0 as obviously it’s a different category. There is no way you can compare a physical copy to an eBook 2.0 head to head. Going back to the above Alice in Wonderland, an eBook 2.0 still contains all the information or story Lewis Carroll originally wanted to convey but it offers more. There is an additional level of experience consumption made possible only in MIDs. Unless you live in Harry Potter‘s world, you probably won’t expect something to happen if you shake a physical book, will ya?


Don’t waste the device

Now picture yourself using an iPhone, iPad or any model of smartphone. You’re reading an eBook about Moorea and it rambles on about all different charming places of exotic foreign names. Will you have the urge to close the book and check those places online or on Google Map right away? See! That’s the way readers use a digital book.

Instead of making readers close the book and navigate away, why don’t publishers build them those access of information IN the book? That’s the concept of eBook 2.0.


Publisher Guinness World Record shows us how this can be done.


Reading is great and we absolutely have no problem with readers who want to cuddle up with their 1847 edition of Jane Eyre. It’s our duty though, to flag up to our clients the unlimited possibilities eBook 2.0 offers and if they are considering releasing digital books, eBook 2.0 should be the way to go.

Fortunate for us, our client Weekend Weekly shares the same opinion and launched the Weekend Weekly City Guide Series on iPhone. This App Store No. 1 product prides its position of going beyond digital text.

Weekend Weekly said it themselves too:

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