I really like the new app for The Waste Land.
This is how digital publishing should be approached. The enhanced ebook has always been for me the equivalent of DVD extras; frou frou that no-one cares about or opens and entirely separate from the experience they originally purchased.
The app route is much more dynamic and begins by rethinking the potential ways of presenting the work and enabling the user to interact with, understand and engage with the text. It is an organic portrayal and experience of the work not a throwaway afterthought. And an enhanced experience is what makes all the difference.
What’s more, I think that there is a hidden bonus for the publishers who make apps. With each construction they are driven to think harder and go further, to rethink the possibilities and potential of the work they are publishing rather than following the same old path. Creating apps will drive innovation throughout the business and that can only be a good thing for publishing.
Now I also really like the British Library app. Or rather I really want to like the new British Library app. Its a fabulous idea but so far its only teased me with possibility then given me the spinning beach ball of doom. The concept though looks brilliant, classic texts expertly curated. At least I hope that what it will be.
Going back to Eliot, I’m sure it will be an excellent introduction to the poem, and frankly I could watch Fiona Shaw read her shopping list and be entertained.
My own introduction to Eliot was my sixth form girlfriend, The The’s Infected video and Marlon Brando.
UPDATE: I’ve got the British Library app going. A Voyage in the Sunbeam by Mrs Brassey being my first excursion. Published by Longmans, Green and Co 1878.