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Digital Renaissance: What Data and Economics Tell Us about the Future of Popular Culture
Client talk request. Request a quote. Skip to global navigation Skip to main content. The Digital Renaissance of Work: Delivering digital workplaces fit for the future How to use this book: Roadmap for shifting from an intranet to digital workplace management Guidance on building a coherent digital workplace strategy Inspiration for how to provide true value with digital tools Challenge to colleagues and clients to develop broader visions. What is the digital renaissance? Buy the book Amazon. Hardcover , pages.
Published November 13th by Princeton University Press. More Details Other Editions 3.
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- A Q&A with Joel Waldfogel, Author of 'Digital Renaissance'.
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Sort order. Mar 11, Jenna rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , technology. Usually this is by library patrons who assume that because I work in a library, I therefore deplore e-books and e-readers. These people are often surprised to learn that I actually prefer to read them over a physical book. To be sure, there is a certain "thing" about reading a physical book that you can't get with an e-reader It's a nostalgic feeling, a physical reminder of holding a book we cherished, feeling it's cover, turning the pages, even smelling them.
However, when it comes to easiness on the eyes, ease of finding things in the book, having a built-in dictionary to look words up or see how they're pronounced -- e-readers win every time!
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There will be those who disagree with me and that's OK. But to those of you who prefer physical books, I say not to worry: E-books are not going to make physical ones obsolete, at least not any time soon. However, it does talk about the fear held by many that e-books and the ease of self-publishing will erode the quality of books until there's not much left.
Certainly there is a lot published that will never appeal to any reader, save perhaps the writer's mom. And a great many books that are published will not be read by anyone except said writer's mom. However, that does not mean the quality of ALL books has deteriorated, not by far! Is there crap oozing out around the quality? But contrary to what many have feared, the cheaper cost of creating and distributing digital material has not at least not yet led to the end of culture.
So what exactly is a Digital Renaissance? Joel Waldfogel says that "we are experiencing a digital renaissance if the cost reductions made possible by new digital technologies bring about an outpouring of new work that includes substantial numbers of good, new works that deliver satisfaction to users and that otherwise would not have made their way to audiences. He makes the case that this indeed is what has happened with the emergence of digital media.
He discusses the book, television, movie, and music industries, and how they have been changed by cheaper digital technology. These are sometimes negative, such as the ease of piracy. They are also positive, by making available a lot of media that would otherwise not be available to the public. Whether it be because only a fixed number of physical books or DVDs can be stored in a book store, library, or video rental store, or because it was harder to cross international boundaries before, there is now much more available to the consumer.
Because we can access it, often at a much lower cost, online and because there is no additional cost to the publisher or producer in making their products available everywhere, most people most places in the world can be served up a plethora of new media we would never have had access to prior to digital media. Waldfogel, using numerous studies and graphs, shows how we know that a digital renaissance has taken place. He shows how, despite the availability of media that is not of interest to most people, the general consumer has benefited. This is especially true for those whose interests are broader than those of most people in their area.
Before, it was much more difficult to find foreign films and international music. Books our friends in other countries were enjoying were often not available to those outside the home country.
A Digital Renaissance - Paris Innovation Review
We were limited to consuming the media that was most popular in our area, because there is a fixed amount of space in which to store physical media. Most of this book I found vastly interesting. This was especially true no surprise here of the discussion of e-books. The last couple of chapters contained a lot of reiterations, leading to a bit of boredom on my part. However, I am glad I read it and have been given much to ponder. It is perhaps ironic that, whilst I read the majority of books on my Kindle Fire, I actually read the physical copy of this one!
Cheap, easy self-publishing is eroding the position of these gatekeepers and guardians of culture. Does this revolution herald the collapse of culture, as some commentators claim? Far from it. In Digital Renaissance , Joel Waldfogel argues that digital technology is enabling a new golden age of popular culture, a veritable digital renaissance. By reducing the costs of production, distribution, and promotion, digital technology is democratizing access to the cultural marketplace.