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The Implications of Intelligent Content for eBooks
 

The Implications of Intelligent Content for eBooks

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    The Implications of Intelligent Content for eBooks The Implications of Intelligent Content for eBooks Presentation Transcript

    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION The Implications ofIntelligent Content for eBooks Robert J. Glushko glushko@berkeley.edu 7 February 2013
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION About Today’s Talk• A textbook for a multidisciplinary field is challenging to write…• …and changes what a book is• …and changes what an ebook is• …and benefits from new types of intelligent content 2
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION What is an ebook?• A book-length publication in digital form in a stand-alone package interpreted by a hardware or software ebook reader• (Spoiler) This definition will be shown to be inadequate in the next few minutes 3
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION My Interests in ebooks• I first transformed printed texts into “electronic books” over 30 years ago• About 15 years ago I stopped doing it• Until last year, when a project to write a textbook turned into a project to create an “etextbook”• I thought that by now everything about making ebooks would have been figured out… but it isn’t 4
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    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION The Motivation: Teaching in a Multidisciplinary Field• UC Berkeley’s “School of Information” is one of a few dozen graduate programs called “ISchools”• ISchools include schools of library science, informatics, MIS, computer science…• No textbook exists that can survey this field, so my “foundations” course syllabus had no unifying point of view, and even contained some conflicts 8
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION The Discipline of Organizing To be published by MIT Press in early 2013 simultaneously in several different formats: As a printed book As free HTML files In several ebook formats DisciplineOfOrganizing.org 9
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION We Organize… Libraries, museums, business information systems, scientific data… and other institutional resource collections•Different types of documents – from narrative to transactional – which have characteristic content, structures, and presentations•Personal information and artifacts of all kinds in our kitchens, closets, personal computers, phones… 10
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Motivating the Concept of “Organizing System” We can emphasize how all of these domains and types of collections differ… or we can emphasize what they have in common They are all “Organizing Systems” A collection of resources Intentionally arranged To enable some set of interactions 11
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION What Makes a Text Multidisciplinary?• Identifies and explains the concepts at the intersection of multiple disciplines• Uses vocabulary that is discipline-neutral to enable interdisciplinary communication• Incorporates discipline-specific concepts and examples in the context of the transdisciplinary content and vocabulary 12
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION The Breadth vs. Depth Challenge• A BROAD textbook for a multidisciplinary field represents all the disciplines that contribute to it• A DEEP textbook treats all the disciplines with appropriate rigor and nuanceCan a textbook be deep and broad at the same time? 13
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Authoring a Multidisciplinary Text• Who can write it?• Where would you start?• Multidisciplinary implies collaboration – how?• What document architecture provides appropriate support for authoring, deployment, effective comprehension, and maintenance? 14
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Writing A Multidisciplinary Text• It matters where you start• Initial drafts overly emphasized my own disciplinary perspective• I recruited critics and collaborators to fill in my disciplinary gaps• Using the draft book at different ISchools purged disciplinary bias and broadened the coverage• The book grew bigger and bigger and bigger… 15
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Collaborative Authoring (and Resource Sharing) Environments• As collaborative writing and teaching increased, we needed some way to support that• Initially we used generic technology (MS Word, email, Dropbox, Skype) rather than tools with book-specific collaboration functionality• Later we used (as beta testers) O’Reilly’s Atlas single-source publishing system• Resource sharing is DisciplineOfOrganizing.org 16
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION 17
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION 18
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION From Word to XML• We initially used Word as the authoring software because that made it easy to solicit collaborators and reviewers• But as we got closer to production, we saw that XML would enable greater automation and vastly more intelligent content• Some of our markup has no use in the print version, but will be extremely valuable in ebooks and in “open data / semantic web” contexts 19
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Intelligent Content in Textbooks• Core vs. Supplemental Content• Selective Inclusion• “Intelligent” Inclusion• Extensible Inclusion• Generated Content• “Intelligent” Exclusion 20
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION The Content of TextbooksA textbook contains many types of content,especially in an evolving multidisciplinary field 21
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Intelligent Content in TextbooksSome of this content is “core” and essentialto the text. Other content is “supplemental”. 22
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Supplemental Content• Tables, figures, illustrations• Sidebars• Footnotes, endnotes, glossary entries• Bibliographic references• Appendices• Commentaries and reviews• Case studies• Temporal and interactive content 23
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Selective Inclusion of Supplemental Content• The simplest mechanism for a personalized reading experience• A reader can get the content and (logically) include it in the “text stream” at his current location• Example: with footnotes and endnotes, visual or hypertextual inclusion is an optional act by the reader 24
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION “Intelligent” Inclusion• Supplemental content can be tagged or typed by discipline, target audience, or a contextual category• This technique addresses the inherent “breadth vs. depth” challenge• Useful in both print and ebooks but radically different user experiences 25
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Intelligent Endnotes in TDO Over 20% of the content in TDO has been factored out of the core and converted to endnotes mostly tagged by discipline  Library & Information Science, Computing, Cognitive Science, Law, Business, and a generic Citation type  This makes depth into a choice rather than a distraction or confusion  In ebooks, transclusion is a natural mechanism for incorporating supplemental content 26
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATIONTransclusion in ebooks: Design Questions What granularity is most appropriate? How is writing style changed by transclusion? How best to indicate presence of transcludable content? When should readers decide to transclude or not to transclude? Should transcluded text be distinguished in its presentation? What are the pedagogical impacts? 27
    • Transclusion in ebooks 28
    • Transclusion of “Law” Endnote 29
    • Transclusion of “LIS” Endnote 30
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Making Transclusion Extensible• Transclusion mechanisms should be general enough to handle any type of supplemental content• Any instructor or institution should be able to create supplemental content• Except with “offline” reading, supplemental content should be discoverable from anywhere• Rich markup turns the semantic web / linked data worlds into supplemental content 31
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    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Generated Content• Generated content is created explicitly or implicitly in the use of the book• Explicitly generated content includes bookmarks, highlighting, and annotations• Implicitly generated content is more valuable when aggregated• Especially valuable to authors and instructors 33
    • Generated Content uses Transclusion 34
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Content Exclusion• Just as textbooks have many types of supplemental content, they are usually structured to make some types of content excludable in certain circumstances• Examples: summary, digest, abstract, précis, redaction, school edition, short form, expurgation…• Exclusion decisions are best made by authors or instructors to configure a book for a particular set of readers or context 35
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Intelligent Exclusion• Intelligent exclusion requires a more thorough content strategy than intelligent transclusion does• But a good textbook is based on careful analysis of logical dependencies between concepts and content components• A textbook authoring environment that made strategy and dependencies explicit could create a “family of books” that consist of different subsets of the core content 36
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Intelligent Exclusion in TDO• In TDO, every chapter begins with an introduction that includes a scenario or concrete example, and ends with a list of key points; a book that contained chapter 1 and then these two parts of chapters 2-10 is an excellent summary• A version of TDO that emphasized the everyday and personal examples would be a nice “airport bookstore” or “Malcolm Gladwell” book – look for HOW WE ORGANIZE summer 2014 37
    • Intelligent Exclusion 38
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION Toward an Intelligent Book Reader• The intelligent content techniques I’ve described can’t be handled by current book readers• Some companies are building more capable book readers but they are walled gardens that bind the book to a proprietary reader• A better architecture for an intelligent book reader is as an open and extensible platform that lives in a web ecosystem of plug-in or add-on capabilities, like browser extensions• (We’re working on it: See talks by Hartnell and Renold on Friday 1-2pm) 39
    • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF INFORMATION What is an ebook?• An ebook is not a self-contained single book• Any ebook might be a member of a family of books in a logical repository of structured content resources organized by the author(s) to enable the selection and assembly of coherent subsets• The content of the book depends on the capabilities of its ereader, blurring the boundary between book and the software that “reads” it• For textbooks the boundary between course management software and books will blur too 40