I have been asking recently whether a book is still a good container for knowledge. I recently watched a TEDxMontreal video, that really demonstrated that I was asking the wrong question. The question is whether the distinction between the Internet and eBooks is arbitrary and false. To further explain, is an eBook that incorporates video still a book? Is an eBook with audio still a book? In library school we debated whether audiobooks were books, but are they? What about an eBook whose content updates as the world updates? What is the difference between an eJournal article and an eBook? Is a YouTube video television? Is email mail? Should we continue to divide up knowledge based on old formats?
Hugh McGuire in the video I mentioned (which is displayed below) argues that all of these medias are blurring together and that the future will make it virtual impossible to distinguish between the formats. I certainly am inclined to think he may have a valid point. What will we use in the future to determine whether something is a book, video, audio? Will it be percentage? Will it be intent? Will it be usage? Will everything just converge into the Internet? I don’t really have an answer, but the question is still worth asking.