I couldn’t help but get excited about this recent news from Sony. Kudo’s Sony!
Sony Unveils Reader Library Program to Promote Digital Reading at Public Libraries
Thanks to Stephen’s Lighthouse for bringing this one to my attention.

A recent study by Jakob Nielson confirms that reading long-form in print finds higher reading speeds than on ebook readers. The readability study looked at the reading speed of 24 users using Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle 2, and traditional print.

Key highlights from the study:

Books are faster than tablets.
“The iPad measured at 6.2% lower reading speed than the printed book, whereas the Kindle measured at 10.7% slower than print.”

User satisfaction: iPad Loved, PCs Hated.
After using each device, users were asked to rate their satisfaction on a 1-7 scale (7 being the best). “The result: iPad, Kindle, and the printed book all scored fairly high at 5.8, 5.7, and 5.6, respectively. The PC, however, scored an abysmal 3.6.”

I found the less predictable comments interesting and concur: “Users felt that reading the printed book was more relaxing than using electronic devices. And they felt uncomfortable with the PC because it reminded them of work.”

What impact will reading speeds have on the sales of ebook readers? While people may read faster with print, there may be little impact on sales of these devices. According to the Association of American Publishers e-book sales from the “13 publishers soared 176.6% in 2009, to $169.5 million”.

As an ebook reader myself, I find that I do read slower on my Sony Reader. What has increased is the number of books that I’ve read over the past 6 months. The convenience of a portable device has encouraged me to read more on-the-go, and hopefully, the readability issues with these devices will be solved in the future.

my QR code

April 15, 2010

This blog has a QR code:

Learn more about QR codes here.

Get one here.

Thanks to Rudy for sharing this tip.

Learning to eRead

January 2, 2010

Did you receive an ebook reader for Christmas? I did. I’ve spent the past few days learning to eRead on my Sony Reader (Touch Edition).

While I’ve tried the Stanza, Kindle, and Kobo iPhone/Touch apps, nothing compares to the larger 6 inch screen of my Reader. I’m also getting used e-ink. It’s probably the biggest drawback to ebook readers right now. On the plus side, Sony’s Reader software installed very nicely on my Mac, and supports Adobe Digital Editions. The Sony Reader supports the EPUB format, which essentially means there are lots of sources for ebooks.

If you are looking for some free ebooks to download, check out the following sources (and be mindful of the copyright legislation for your country):

Google Books
The Grandfather of free ebook search.

Click on the “public domain” link to browse thousands of free and original books.

Click on the “free ebooks” link to browse their collection.

Click on the “Free ebooks” link to download books for the web, mobile and EPUB format.

Project Gutenburg
Project Gutenberg is the place where you can download over 30,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, iPhone, Kindle, Sony Reader or other portable device.

Project Gutenburg Canada
The ebooks on this website are in the Canadian public domain.

Click on the “filter by: free ebooks” to browse for ebooks by indie authors and publishers.

As well, don’t forgot to check out your local library.  I’ve already borrowed several ebooks from Vaughan Public Libraries. Sony also hosts a library finder page, where you can browse for local libraries that offer ebooks for loan.

If you are considering an ebook reader purchase, be sure to read Gadget Lab’s How to Choose an eBook Reader, and the exhaustive ebook reader comparison chart on the Mobile Read Wiki.

Happy eReading!

spreading the Drupal love

December 23, 2008

I mentioned in a previous post that I was spending a bit of time learning Drupal.

In my foray of Drupal learning, I’ve come across some great resources for libraries using this open-source content management software for running their websites, portals, or blogs.

Drupallib a place for library drupallers to hang out. Drupallib “is intended as a place for Drupal implementors in libraries to share ideas, configurations, themes, and maybe even to incubate the development of some modules that allow commonly desired functionality in library websites (both for libraries’ principle sites or for secondary or specialized subsites). Drupalib features a blog, a forum, and a listing of drupal sites implemented by libraries.”

Drupal for Libraries listserv is a very active discussion list, where you can discuss various aspects about implementing Drupal in your library.

Drupal Groups including a group for libraries.

The September issue of The CyberSkeptic’s Guide to Internet Research has an article on Drupal and Libraries. Writtern by Elyssa Kroski from iLibrarian, the article provides an overview of Drupal and applications in libraries. Elyssa also has a presentation on Drupal for Libraries from Computers in Libraries 2008 worth checking out.

Want more? Amanda Etches-Johnson at blogwithoutalibrary.net has a 3 part series on Drupal. Amanda demystifies Drupal modules. The McMaster Library website was completely redesigned using Drupal. Impressive!

Going to the OLA Super Conference? Take a look at session #413, Building User Centred Websites with Drupal. I’ll be there!

trend map 2009

December 22, 2008

A brilliant trend map for 2009.

There are some fascinating and frightening (albeit humourous) trends, risks and red herrings here including:
GLOBAL RISKS: Major Internet failure
FAMILY: Debt stress, Allowable luxuries, IMBYs, Middle class unrest, Unplugging
MEDIA: Flight to quality, Facebook fatigue, Skimming, Micro boredom, Digital diets

This “multi-tentacled hydra” map is available under a Creative Commons license, so feel free to share!

top 10 tech surprises

December 18, 2008

As 2008 draws to a close, top lists and rankings begin to make the press.  I’m always interested in some of the least expected rankings.  The 10 Biggest Technology Surprises for 2008 is worth a read.

Be sure to check out the slideshow to learn why these shocking stories made the list.

1. Windows crumbles. Not!
2. Tech couldn’t stop the financial meltdown
3. Virtualization. It’s alive!
4. Cloud computing
5. Green IT
6. Apple as the enterprise champion
7. Forget innovation, let’s just buy something.  (remember Microsoft and Yahoo?)
8. The big switch or the big snitch?
9. The social net election.
10. The Internet.