EPUB 3: A Foundation For the Future
In the learning environment, it's critical that the content be connected. If a student completes an end-of-chapter quiz, you want that to go in your grade book and your learning management system. You may want to have analytics data that tracks student progress and ultimately the learning content is adaptive to the individual. That intelligence and connectedness of the content is critical for learning, which is part of that connected web world.
All of that means that in the e-textbook world, it's just not satisfactory to replicate print, or make just a straight text version that reflows, you need to take content to a different level of capability. That's why the EDUPUB initiative is one of the most critical things going on -- because it's one of the cases where EPUB 3 is most directly related to key market requirements on a global basis. On a horizontal global basis, I think education is really going to be the biggest piece of the adoption of what I call next generation digital content.
The fact that we've got the whole education publishing community, all the vendors like CourseSmart and Inkling, all to agree to go with EPUB 3 and build together this EPUB profile called EDUPUB, is a key step. It's about taking this content beyond what is possible in a paper world.
What's your strategy for expanding the adoption of EPUB 3?
The trick is to make sure we're not creating fragmentations. We're not creating a second format with EDUPUB. We're just creating some specializations and best practices for how to use EPUB 3 to effectively deliver this next generation content. And we expect there to be similar profiles for EPUB 3 in other industries. For example, until now the digital magazine world has been dominated by relatively proprietary formats and the continuation of print replicas or page-flippers. They just take a PDF experience and maybe stick a video or simple interactivity "over the glass" of the PDF page.
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.