I have been delighted by the digital revolution, because it has democratized publishing of art and writing in a big way. If you could write and you had access to a computer, you could publish world-wide. Fantastic.
But lo this article about a publisher who now has given up books entirely. He believes the future of publishing is not only digital, but interactive. That books will be taken over by apps which tell a story in multiple ways, with movement, games, etc.
Forrester analyst James McQuivey predicts that e-ink readers like the Kindle will become less important as more and more manufacturers bring out tablet computers, and that once that shift happens, books will have to become more interactive if they are to remain vital.
If that becomes reality, then we have lost something, for making such apps costs tens of thousands of dollars, and then creators are once again dependent on money-men, on middle-men.
I really hope it won't go so far, that there will keep being a perhaps niche, but still solid and lively, market for just text ebooks, just art, and other such things which can be created by just one person with talent and gung-ho spirit.
Of course this is only a problem for those who want to make money on their stuff. If you just want to get it out somehow, well those options are not likely to go away, so that's something. And if we're honest, it has never been a great percentage of writers who ever earned good money, even in the "Golden-Age-after-the-Web-but-before-everything-became-apps".
The big publishers I won't shed any tears for. Those who are just in it for money will always find something else to make money on, if they care.