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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Electronic Media Best Alternative to Paper by Khurshid Alam

Electronic Media Best Alternative to Paper by Khurshid Alam
The Internet has added a new space to our life without doubt, coupled with many possibilities and opportunities. It’s a virtual world but has the real presence. Given the fact that more than 2.2 billion people use the Internet worldwide (2011), Internet-based systems are fast spreading to other walks of human life.
With the pressing need of saving trees, we are running to save paper and cut its usage as far as possible. Post Internet we are blessed with the best alternative. Gradually the banks moved to electronic statements, offices communicate through emails instead of letters, and now IRCTC is encouraging people to have tickets on electronic devices for their journeys than on papers.
IRCTC of the Indian Railways displays a message on its site that we can save 3 lakh A4 size papers everyday if we stop taking the printout of the tickets. 3 lakh A4 size papers in a day roughly weigh about 1440 kilograms, which makes about 35 trees. This means we can save 35 trees every day. Assume that this estimation is only for those who book tickets online, yet a larger number of passengers book tickets on the counters, which are given in paper, and do not forget about the papers being used as tickets for buses and other means of transports in entire India.
Almost all leading newspapers and tabloids are migrating to online versions, in addition to the print ones. Many journals, magazines, newspapers, and tabloids are coming solely online.
Of late books in digital versions are gradually replacing the traditional print version. According to the Association of American Publishers, e-books grew from 0.6% of the total trade market share in 2008 to 6.4% in 2010. Total net revenue for 2010 stood at $878 million with 114 million e-books sold. In adult fiction, e-books are now 13.6% of the market. Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the likes are the leading digital publishers where thousands of writers self-publish their dream writings and sell for good benefits.
Realizing the potentiality of the digital publishing, almost all leading traditional publishers including Penguin Group, HarperCollins, Bloomsbury, Random House, are moving to digital publishing as well in addition to their traditional presence. They are working aggressively on converting even those titles which came pre-Internet world to digital versions. And now the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling are available in e-book formats.
In near future, we will see digital readers grow beyond expectation. In schools children are being taught online through Educomp, they are studying exercise modules through animated software programs, and nursery rhymes through digital audio books (CDs, DVDs, Audio series). When they will be in college, they would prefer their text books to be in digital formats. Some ten years from now a big part of curriculum text, both at school and college levels, will be in digital formats. This generation will herald the age of the real digital presence.
Khurshid Alam,
Editor, CLRI, April 2012.
Forthcoming Topics
eBook Reading Devices
Best Selling eWriters
India’s Stand in Digital Publishing
Challenges in Digital Publishing
Book Formats for Digital Publishing

To download in PDF, click  Editorial by Khurshid Alam

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