Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Amazon and the rankings

Most of you will have already heard all there is to hear about the latest at Amazon, with many books, mostly those related in any fashion to homosexuality, being removed from the rankings. I particularly liked Meg Cabot's blog about it, which, after all the serious reports, was rather fun. Then, this is the author who was desperate to have a banned book.

What struck me, though, was that with Facebook, Twitter etc, there's a fantastic opportunity for scholarship to get immediately involved in these situations. We are seeing the world in action - in real time, so to speak - to stop discrimination in book retail. It's pretty wonderful. And if I did have more time today, I would blog more seriously about it.

That's the catch. Time. Scholarship usually involves the taking of time to ponder the situation and its implications. Scholarship works against the immediacy of the online environment. Some academics are finding ways to juggle the two timescales, but I foresee much more to be done in reconciling how scholarship can fully embrace the instancy of new digital technologies.

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