Above the Silos: Social Reading in the Age of Mechanical Barriers (Travis Alber & Aaron Miller)

Travis Alber is co-founder and president of ReadSocial (a service that adds a social layer inside books and websites). Previously she founded BookGlutton.com. You can find her on Twitter at: @screenkapture.

Aaron Miller is co-founder at ReadSocial and BookGlutton, Director of Technology, Chief Engineer at NetGalley, Senior Developer at Firebrand Technologies. You can find Aaron on Twitter at: @vaporbook.


People have always connected through books. As books enter an era in which they too can become connected, we must ask new questions about the nature of reading. We must be free to experiment with the new changing forms of books, the ways that people connect through them, and new modes of interaction. Most importantly—in a many-to-many future, where everything will be connected to everything else—we must look at the ways readers identify with each other, and how they organize meaningfully across the arbitrary divisions created by market forces. Groups of readers and their preferences are, in many ways, more relevant than any single reader out there. Often a single reader is simply a consumer, a passive audience member, whereas a grouping of consumers can be something much more powerful: a community.

Networks of Readers

Where books go, reading follows—this will always be dependable wisdom in the publishing industry. Put books in hands, and the reading will take ...

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