Why did you take part?
I was looking for an innovative way to engage readers with my blog. My blog is about curating contemporary art, and there is some editorial content but there is also a lot of “news” content, such as job postings and funding opportunities for curators. I wanted to create a special series of interviews with curators and really make that content stand out from the rest. It seemed clear to me that the way to do so would be to provide a “take away” item for readers – something that they could download and share. I was (and still am) very excited by the possibilities of the DIFFUSION Generator.
What did you aim to achieve?
I aimed to conduct interesting interviews with a variety of curators and find a way to make visually appealing eBooks using the Generator. I also had a personal goal of investigating the possibilities raised by providing something for my readers that is a downloadable thing that becomes physical.
How did you go about this – what was the process involved / your approach to the eBook Generator…?
I dove in and just tried things. I got an idea for something in my head, for example, to do a stylised pull-quote, and when I couldn’t exactly achieve it within the Generator, I simply created an image of what I wanted using a different piece of software and dropped the image in. The Generator was pretty cooperative for me, and little workarounds like adding images to make the eBook more graphic was fine – in fact, I’m glad the Generator has very basic, simple tools – there’s no need to re-create Photoshop within it!
What did you learn from this process? How did this process influence (if it did) your way of working?
In particular, I found the process of working in the Proboscis studio and receiving ongoing feedback on my intended use of the eBooks very valuable. For example, I originally intended to simply produce and disseminate the eBooks on my blog. Through discussions in the studio, I became aware that I could use the accessibility and tactility of the actual eBook as object to solicit further feedback and responses, by printing and creating eBooks that I could give to selected people who would be invited to share their responses. The fact that I could disseminate the eBooks in both digital and physical formats was very intriguing to me and altered the course of how I thought of my project.
What other ways could you see yourself using the Generator for in the future?
I could see myself using the Generator, as others have as well, to create notebooks or sketchpads, provding some ccntent but also space for reflection. I also see myself using the eBook format to disseminate other types of research and writing. In future, adding a ntoebook element could also encourage a greater level of personalisation by the audience for these eBooks, which I find very appealing, and would like to try.
Any other comments?
I think everyone should have a go at publishing their own photos or writing in the DIFFUSION eBook format. It’s amazing the transformation that occurs when you put your content into physical book form. I remember being quite thrilled when my first one came off the printer! It gives you another way to look at your own thoughts and ideas, which is a rare thing.
Though the eBook exists in a digital form, once it has been generated and designed it is, in my mind, better for timeless information (research, interviews, writing), and my regular blog posts will still serve well for timely information (the “news” that I referred to above). I do think that combining these approaches is an excellent way to diversify my blog output and is a tool that could be further exploited by bloggers to highlight special content – particularly research.