Since we announced the launch of the book, a lot of people have asked why we launched a paper version rather than do something in digital format only.
Please don’t think it’s something we haven’t discussed at Creative Social. The truth is that while many of us have worked in digital for a long time, most of us have no doubt that physical world is far more interesting than the digital world. I remember when Second life came out, one of my favourite responses was the site ‘getafirstlife.com’. It is also why one of my favourite social networks is Dopplr, as it actually has lead to me meeting up with friends and peers around the world – to a certain extent, Foursquare is also starting to lead to these interactions, but at a far more local level.
In the same way there is something so powerful about a book. Although we will be releasing a kindle version later this week, I am still not convinced that a Kindle evokes the same level of emotional attachment as a book. There is something special about having your words etched on paper and it was certainly something that was quite clear when our authors picked up their copies of the book for the first time. It was not about ego, but rather the plain old human emotion of holding something you contributed to in your hands.
We also felt that with the nature of digital and the relentless bombardment of news articles online, it would be good to take stock at a certain point in time. We saw the idea of producing something that acted as a marker for the digital advertising industry as exciting – even if it’s a marker signifying that in fact digital advertising is dead – because everything is now digital and what we have left is purely advertising.
When we first conceived the idea of our book, the iPad did not exist. To me, the iPad is the first device that actually provides a better experience digitally, than an actual book. While I would have loved to had made an iPad version the pure economics and the penetration of the iPad would have probably meant that we the book route anyway, especially as it was important for us that the content got in the hands of students.
This idea of digital/physical also extends to advertising and some of my favourite pieces of work in the last 12 months really harness this idea of physical/digital collaboration:
Converse Paper Heads
Amplifying an idea both digitally and physically is much more powerful than using either in isolation and I hope that we get to see even more examples in the next 12 months (do share any other good examples and we will do a follow up piece). In the meantime if anyone wants to volunteer to do an iPad version of the book, feel free to give us a shout.