Making sharing easier?
Proboscis has been looking at additional ways to share eBooks and StoryCubes that use mobile phones as the medium. In particular we have been experimenting with matrix or 2D barcodes – Shotcodes in this instance – enabling a mobile cameraphone to navigate to the URL of the eBook without its owner having to type in anything.
The reason behind this experiment is to consider ways that people could access and share the URL of the eBook (or StoryCube) without having to use a computer with an internet connection. We are especially interested in the potential benefit of the eBooks and StoryCubes in developing countries as publishing media that can move either digitally or as tangible goods (paper publications) and recognise that in many developing nations mobile phones are far more pervasive than internet-connected computers. Offering new opportunities for eBooks to be shared simply by capturing the eBook’s URL from a 2D barcode, could enable a much more viral re-distribution than if it was just emailed, downloaded or shared as a printed book.
Shotcode encodes the URL in a 2D barcode (other types include QR codes, Semacodes etc) which a mobile phone can read and access via a mobile internet connection. It is not even necessary to download the PDF to the phone – the URL can be saved as a bookmark and shared via SMS, something particularly important given the cost of mobile internet access. However, should the PDF be accessed and saved to the phone it could then be shared in a number of ways; by downloading to a PC for printing (via bluetooth or USB cable); by sending to other bluetooth enabled devices; printing direct on a bluetooth-enabled printer. All these options rely on the mobiles having a camera with bluetooth for connectivity, however it may be sufficient for people simply to share the URLs by SMS and then manually type them into an internet-enabled computer to download the PDF.
We are wondering whether the addition of both the eBook’s individual URL and a 2D barcode of the URL to the back cover of each Generator created eBook would facilitate even easier sharing, especially in places where mobiles are more prevalent than computers and broadband internet? Should a future version of the Generator include these features and, if so, what of the many 2D barcodes would be the most appropriate? Below are two eBooks we have created Shotcodes for – we’d love to have any thoughts, comments or suggestions about this idea (to test the Shotcodes you may need to download the Shotcode Reader for your cameraphone).
|This is not a book A4||This is not a book US|
|Peckham Rising A4||Peckham Rising US|