Archive - July, 2010

Readers Prefer Kindle or iPad, Even if Slower

It sounds strange at first. Reading on a Kindle or iPad slows you down. Reading a physical book is faster. The Nielsen company comes to this conclusion following a survey of twenty four frequent readers.

Using short stories by Hemingway, book readers completed their reading in what Nielsen said is statistically significant faster times. Kindles proved slowest.

Everyone disliked reading on a laptop. Since laptops are work tools, they’re not the reader of choice for relaxing or entertaining reading. Too similar to work, apparently.

However, even if books are faster reads, people prefer e-readers. As screens improve this will likely add momentum to a switch in favor of digital readers. It’s not hard to project that the reading experience will change even more radically with hyperlinks, videos, photos and audio inserts to supplement text. The latest Kindle app allows you to turn on a shared highlight function. You can share with other Kindle readers sections of books you mark as noteworthy, making reading a shared experience in a limited way.

This integration of digital multiple media is changing not only how fast we read, but how we read and, no doubt, we’re in for much more change.¬†How are digital readers changing our (or your) reading and learning?

The Israeli Army Video

The video of Israeli Army soldiers in Hebron performing a dance routine has created an international stir. However, it may be less an exercise in diplomatic and political insensitivity than an indication that we live in a global media culture and we’re so used to media they’re a seamless part of our lives.

That these young people did not perceive how their synchronized dance would look on video to those outside their environment simply reveals how deeply they embrace a YouTube way of life. The medium, the sharing and the performance are so embedded in their lives they didn’t give due consideration to the security issues nor public perception of their dance.

It’s a do-it-yourself media world. Anyone can be a producer. The lines between performance and normal affairs are blurred everyday. To be on-camera is no longer special. No studio is required as it was in the broadcast television era. The era of elite professionals set apart to prepare content for an audience who passively receive it through complicated, inaccessible technology is ancient history.

We carry cameras with us. We send images so casually it’s not even remarkable. We document the mundane and the historic. A airliner slides into the Hudson River and it’s captured on an iPhone, posted on a photo site and reported on Twitter. Prisoners in the Philippines perform a Michael Jackson synchronized dance while behind bars. It’s sent around the world and becomes a viral sensation.

And young soldiers, without thinking through the implications, dance on-camera and share their production. The world gasps, but that’s life today.