A very interesting event on the microcontent front, technology publisher O’Reilly will start selling their books by the chapter in PDF format. From the press release:
Sebastopol, CA–In today’s Web 2.0 driven publishing marketplace, it takes new and creative strategies to get authors and their work noticed by web savvy readers. But even when it is noticed, today’s readers increasingly want content in new and convenient ways that suit their digital lifestyles. Along with traditional print formats, they want content they can read on computers, PDAs, and cell phones. For this reason O’Reilly Media–the pioneering publishing company that coined the term Web 2.0–has recently launched several innovative publishing programs aimed at delivering content in formats the tech generation craves.
Starting this month, O’Reilly Media customers have the option to purchase book content by the chapter in PDF format for $3.99.
Depending on the topic and work in question, this could be seen in both positive and negative light. On one hand, there are some technology books – especially reference works – that I use the same chapters over and over again. To have those chapters in PDF format, and create a personal searchable library would be very productive. On the other side, I can see how Slawyers with ties to learning and education might see microcontent as removing context to longer discourse materials.
The segmentation of digital content into smaller chunks is a definite trend. Anyone care to add some thoughts with a legal publications spin?