The future of publications
Here is an interesting reading about the future of the book that may interest those of you working in publications. After a decade of announcing 'the end of print', the truth is that now more than ever we seem to be at a crossroads not knowing which direction to take. We have all agreed that the future is digital, but we don't seem to be shaking off the need of the physical presence of print, specially when dealing with developing countries. But most worrying, we seem not to agree on what 'digital publishing' really means, particularly at the UN and NGOs, where funding is scarce these days, and it's difficult to justify a big investment in new technologies.
Whether is glorified PDFs, a visual extract accompanied by a pdf, or something in between it seems that most of us are struggling to find the path which will take us to deliver truly interactive publications that make the often data-rich content more accessible to our audience. An audience that, on top of that, is quickly getting used to the way content is being delivered in the private sector.
There are remarkable cases though, where aesthetics, purpose and full use of each medium capabilities go hand in hand, like this great example from OCHA. In any case, one has to wonder if it isn't time to stop talking about the 'digital shift' and start investing in new skills, resources, renovated structures and workflows to make publications like OCHA the norm, not the exception.