Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Writing eBooks on a cell phone

Last week I bemoaned the idea that cell phones have become such a popular eBook reading device. That was last week – in the meantime the whole cell phone and book thing has been raised a notch!

Admittedly I have trouble reading my cell phone, but trust me, it is minor trouble compared to what happens when I try to text message. My thumb is way too big (and clumsy) to make this a pleasant experience. And I lack patience – all that pressing just to get an “S” seems wildly inefficient! My kids assure me, however, that there are all kinds of ways to solve that problem.


Imagine my surprise when I saw the Wall Street Jounal . Right there, big as life, was a story about Satomi Nakamura who writes eBooks on her cell phone. And I had spent the day before bitching about reading on a cell.

Evidently her books are not exactly eloquent but they sell -- millions of copies. In fact her stories are so popular that a movie is coming out in November based on one of them.. It may not be eloquent, well plotted, or literary, but it is readable. Come on – its about love. How can you loose!

I’ve been thinking about this all week. The more I think about it, the more I am intrigued with the possibilities. Maybe this is the magic device that will rocket eBooks into the public consciousness. And maybe this is the medium and the device that will finally promote teenage literacy.

Educators ought to sit up an take note!

No money for text books? Beam a copy of the required reading to your student’s cell phone. Kill two birds with one stone: get the students to read and turn a noxious nuisance into an educational opportunity.

Having trouble getting the students to write? Hold a contest for the best “paper” written on a cell phone. More opportunities – students write and this might do a great deal to upgrade the quality of the typical text message.

The opportunities are enormous both for educators and the medical profession. Think of all of those Doctors waiting anxiously for the emerging repetitive stress thumb injury surgery field to really heat up. "Blackberry thumb" was only the tip of the iceburg!

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