What's the Latest Development?

A good way to know the future is to look at what younger generations take as given. Recent surveys indicate that many young people avoid reading e-books because they are not yet part of a larger social network, but that may soon change, says technology writer Clive Thompson. "Every form of media has migrated online and benefited from conversation. The newspaper is broken into articles that get blogged and get turned into conversations." Often times, he says, the most interesting part of an idea, written in article form, is the discussion that surrounds it on the Internet and not the article itself

What's the Big Idea?

There have already been attempts at making books more friendly to social media, such as Findings, a service which shares highlights passages of popular books, or Amazon's attempts to involve authors in Q & A sessions through the Kindle. "Books are going to provoke the best conversations because people think really deeply about them," says Thompson. "And people bring a certain level of intellectual seriousness to them that they don’t even necessarily bring to newspapers." But all attempts to socialize books have mostly fallen on deaf ears. Is that because reading books is an inherently private activity?

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