Recently, there are several news about Amazon forcing publishers to agree on changes of terms (e.g. see http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jun/25/new-amazon-terms-book-industry-report-concessions). In addition to that, there is no free, decentralised app or tool yet, to store and backup one’s ebooks. If you use the Amazon infrastructure for it, you are in fact completely relying on Amazon’s goodwill as they can remove once bought ebooks (see e.g. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/oct/22/amazon-wipes-customers-kindle-deletes-account).
So, what about integrating an ebook storage, so users can access and handle their once purchased ebooks in a decentralised way while enjoying the benefits of an online application? A second step would be to use the same storage for publisher profiles and add a simple shop system to it, so even small publishers have a good, cost efficient, independent way to sell their ebooks? A third step would be to allow users to directly sync a copy of an ebook to their profile storage as soon as the payment got processed. There are already a couple of ebook readers offering a simple web browser (e.g. Sony Reader), with which it is an easy thing to download ebooks from a web page. I suppose there are a lot more features like rating, recommending, linking to books, authors and publishers. In fact, the concept could offer even authors who can not find any publisher a good platform to offer their work.
Effects of implementing the idea
Both the diaspora community and the publishers/authors would heavily benefit from this combination. Publishers/authors might be more motivated to setup and host diaspora instances and contribute to diaspora development. Thus, the diaspora network will grow and attract more users. Adding such a feature/feature set would also create an incredible special USP (beside the already existing ones such as freedom, independence, privacy). Publishers and authors (even single authors with no publisher) get access to a growing social network and users of diaspora would get a great infrastructure to handle all matters around their ebooks.
Resources to implement the idea
At the moment I am learning Ruby on Rails as a Student of the RailsGirls summer of code. I could spend some time on implementing such features as soon as we have created a well-defined concept through community discussion for it. I would love to find others through this discussion to contribute together with me in development as well as other, who have with relations to book stores, publishers, networks of book authors, etc. to get these parties into the discussion and find help to attract funding for a kickstarter-like project.
Questions to discuss
There are already a lot of thoughts about this idea in my head like:
- “should/can every diaspora instance offer this feature in terms of limited system resources such as storage and traffic?”,
-"how to limit storage and traffic of this feature best (per user, per instance, in MB/GB, in number of books per user, etc.)
- “how to integrate different payment processes?”
- "who decides on the payment processes?"
and a lot more. I would love to hear about all your question, concerns and ideas on “Diaspora with decentral storages and e-book shops”. Let’s discuss if this is a great opportunity for diaspora or not
Note: This discussion was imported from Loomio. Click here to view the original discussion.