IDPF: Boundaries of Participation

I wanted to add a few of my own thoughts to Andrew’s last post on the AAP and the IDPF. I agree that there is too much emphasis on a replication of the print page, and too little engagement in re-envisioning the product so that it supports a diversity of distribution channels and ultimately, product conceptualizations. For that matter, many of us will still opt for some form of print manifestation, for some classes of this content. But regardless, publishers are aware at least cognitively of these transformations, as Sara Lloyd of Pan Macmillan witnesses in her recent manifesto. Indeed, DAISY is not the only actor that is encouraging IDPF to adopt a more profound engagement with newer presentation technologies and a greater diversity in the expectations for interaction, collaboration, and sharing.

One of the harder equations to solve is where the support for some of the features Andrew mentions should actually be located — are they format bound? What is the value in specifying an explicit framework that supports (e.g.) OpenID and OpenSocial for collaborative reading of texts (viz. texts broadly defined)? How much of that should be a normative consideration of the application environment, vs. how much in a schema? Perhaps we rather need to participate more outbound such that libraries and publishers more actively engage in efforts like OpenSocial and DataPortability, to bring the changing needs of our served communities into those dialogues.

Organizationally, how do publishers and libraries become the type of enterprises where that kind of open technical and policy engagement is not only tolerated but endorsed as a normal run of business, instead of being perceived as a perfidious seduction?

I don’t have either cleverness or answers, but I do wonder what goes into the IDPF’s court as a work product, and what goes into the court of our community as a responsibility to redefine and rescale the boundaries of the world of participation.

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