Socialnomics as an ebook: Why not?
Posted by Rob_Henseler
Erik Qualman’s book Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business should be an interactive ebook. Just imagine how much easier it would be to completely understand his message–not to mention, an excellent illustration of some of the very technology he is so enthusiastic about.
If Socialnomics were an interactive ebook, there would be links to discussion groups on Twitter and Facebook. This would be a great resource for readers as well as the author. He could get immediate feedback from his readers (customers) and harness the power of his own audience. In this way, Qualman could address their concerns quickly and efficiently, making the ebook even better. We could expect frequent updates, so examples more recent than 2008 would be available. In fact, maybe readers would go back to the book with frequency to see if their suggestions made it into the most recent version.
If Socialnomics were an interactive ebook, rather than simply telling us that the word “panoply” would be linked to a dictionary, the word actually would be linked so readers could easily find the definition.
If Socialnomics were an interactive ebook, perhaps it would have a link to certain pop culture references (zombies) or “vintage” television episodes. When Qualman mentions the Happy Days “Shark Jump” episode (if I remember correctly, it was actually a two-part episode) we could relive the scene. Now that would be cool!
How about films of Qualman introducing each chapter to us by giving us his “Key Points” (currently found at the end of each chapter) before we even begin reading the chapter? Wait for the ebook version.
How about Qualman narrating an interactive view of graphs or charts that illustrate the changing trends he’s always referring to. (Use airplane icons in a graph to illustrate the number of people who “land at” the three competing travel apps he refers to.) Need to wait for the ebook for that one.
Oh, Mr. Qualman, why didn’t you take it the extra step?
Well, I know someone who did take his book that extra step. Al Gore’s (2011) ebook Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis does a great job of incorporating internet and digital technology with nonfiction text. Gore’s ebook begins with a compelling view of our rotating Earth from space. If you allow your computer to communicate its location to the ebook, a pin on the globe will indicate where you are.
Al Gore also appears to introduce the ebook, and he narrates the tutorial (or user’s guide) and interactive graphs, animated illustrations, and diagrams).
Photographs are often linked to their location on the globe. Some “unfold” to show more content, while others become video with a simple click. All pictures can become full-screen by “grabbing” and enlarging them.
Because the pages within each chapter appear as thumbnail size beneath the main art for the chapter itself, it’s pretty easy and engaging to simply browse or skim this ebook.
I absolutely love it. While I also love to read books with real pages, ebooks can be very compelling.
If my 10th graders were reading an ebook version of To Kill a Mockingbird–one that went beyond just flashing words across an electronic screen–I bet more would actually get through it.
Cookbooks as ebooks–there’s idea.
About Rob_HenselerRob has been teaching high school English and Language Arts for 20 years. When he's not at school, he enjoys making and listening to music, woodworking, canoeing, and hands-on traditional skills.
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