Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jake's Proposal

For our iBook project on the future of print, I think an interesting avenue for us to focus on would be types of print that people don't normally think of, print that doesn't fit into the typical "print is dead" claim.  For example, we could examine the history and possible futures of things like:
  1. sheet music
  2. food labels
  3. movie theater film
  4. paper money
  5. signs, both billboards and fliers
  6. art prints and posters
Now, I know that the class is full of future librarians, literature scholars, and journalism scholars, so doing a project that completely avoids books and news might seem silly.  You probably took this class precisely because you wanted to study the future of print in your discipline.  "I don't care what happens to food labels," you might be thinking, "I just want to know what my book will look like in 10 years."  But that's what will make this project so interesting!  People are already talking about the future of print news and print books.  Everyone in the journalism and book industries has been arguing about it for years.  If you want to find out what your book is going to look like, a simple Google search will give you 50 different opinions.  We could add our voices to that discussion in a thoughtful and well-researched way...

Or we could start a whole new discussion.  Ask questions few scholars have considered.  What do people in the sheet music industry think of iPad apps like Musicnotes and Virtual Sheet Music?  Do music publishers have the same copyright concerns that book publishers do?  How are food companies using things like QR and VR codes?  Will digital completely replace film at movie theaters?  Will the stand at the farmers' market take cash in ten years, or will you need to type in your PayPal password?  Are print billboard makers concerned about digital billboards like the ones in Times Square?  Will our kids still be putting up posters of actors in their rooms, or, each morning, will they download the newest desktop image to their SMARTBoard-like Microsoft Surface that hangs on their wall?  Are there other people asking these questions?  These are the questions that I want the answers to.

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