OPEN DIGITAL TRANSMISSION

“Digital publishing via blog variant”

Originally published on Athabasca Landing site:
https://landing.athabascau.ca/blog/view/774126/open-digital-transmission
December 9, 2014 – 3:56am
Note: excellent post comments discourse


EBOOK

INTRODUCTION

ePublishing multi-format (1) distribution beyond online seems to have been the domain of large commercial publishing companies.  Blogging, an adaptation of the World Wide Web as a singular functional online format, crushed the idea that you had to spend money to communicate your ideas to the world.  In light of “freedom of the digital press”, open educational resources are also a paradigm shift from total capitalism to moderate socialism of capital.

Since the popularization of weblogging in the late 1990’s (2), the software has evolved into a flexible and functional content management system.  Applications such as WordPress have developed drag and drop of content blocks and multimedia. HTML 5 integration offers more seamless multi-device and cross-platform compatibility for WordPress sites.

APPLICATION

Alas for the masses interested in multi-format distribution of digital content, there are open source software solutions integrated with WordPress.  Notable applications are Pressbooks and Anthologize.  Anthologize is a promising example of a WordPress publishing plugin.  However, I found it to have an awkward interface and some unusable output.

Pressbooks (3) appears to be the most promising WordPress publishing and distribution plugin, which is under continued development.  Contributions to development have been made by BC Campus (4), and hopefully further development will make this free open-source application the world premier platform for development and distribution of the digital e-words communication.

In addition to general digital wordsmith compilations, I foresee this application to be well suited toward custom publishing such as thesis works and textbooks.  BC Campus is currently developing many free open educational resources for the classroom based on the Pressbooks system (5).

EXPLORATION

I was recently involved in development of the soon to be released Caregivers Textbook (http://opentextbc.ca/caregivers) for BC Campus that provided an opportunity to explore publishing from software to content to commercial/non-commerical distribution systems.  There are many commercial enterprises that promote distributed publishing to multi-formats, however a truly free open-source development and distribution system is a sustainable archive solution, just as Open Office / LibreOffice (6) is the sustainable offline office application solution.

FUTURE OF TRUE OPEN-SOURCE CMS

Free and open-source content management systems such as Drupal (includes book module), and MediaWiki (built-in compilation and Print export) offer publishing capabilities.  At present, these applications do not appear as accessible to publishing as the WordPress system, which has a simple administrative and enduser interface for rapid digital content generation.

VISION

Academic institutions have a fantastic leadership opportunity to communicate with an incredibly affordable publishing platform in Pressbooks.

PROLOGUE

Blogging and social networks are various forms of digital dynamic and static communications.  Pressbooks offers a more specialized function to web services as a model epublishing system, that may lead to further development of standardization of digital sources that are free, open, and accessible; rather than content locked in proprietary or dead-end formats, requiring commercial software or complicated tool sets.

REFERENCES

  1. Multi-format refers to the file formats such as HTML, XML, ePUB, PDF
  2. Blog : History https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog
  3. Pressbooks https://wordpress.org/plugins/pressbooks
  4. BC Campus Contribution https://github.com/BCcampus/pressbooks-textbook
  5. BC Campus OpenEd http://open.bccampus.ca/open-textbook-101
  6. LibreOffice http://www.libreoffice.org