by Jack Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
3.00 FYI France: Enewsletter and archive
The FYI France Home Page
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France enewsletter, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Enewsletter subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: email@example.com .
Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45 -- $35 until January 1, 1997 -- payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
From: Jack Kessler
Subject: e-PUBLISHING, online, interactive, fulltext -- an example/a model? Par April 15, 1993 FYIFrance: e-PUBLISHING, online, interactive, fulltext -- an example / a model? Part 1/2. by: Jack Kessler email@example.com We live in strange times: the Grateful Dead are singing the national anthem in ballparks, and the best-seller on bookstands in Mainland, "Communist", puritanical China is _Madonna_. So, perhaps to test your credulity a little further: The idea that mainstream commercial print publishers -- Hachette, Random House, Springer, Elsevier -- will eventually, soon, publish and distribute their material online is hinted at, strongly asserted, and vehemently denied very often on the nets. Actions speak better than words. Rather than preach the possibility of commercial online publishing let me show you a real-life, already-existing, example of how it might be done: this from the French Minitel -- a little service called "3615 Lisie`re", which any of you can access inexpensively online, read through and use, and then consider in the context of its possible future use as a model by the world's publishing giants. Disclaimer. I'm not personally in favor of this latter use, nor am I opposed: I'm a little awed by its possibilities and problems -- as a librarian I'm more than a little excited (they'll never be able to find ANYTHING without us) -- and it doesn't seem smart, anyway, to try to stop a flood by holding up your hand. Here it is, then -- online, interactive, fulltext, "commercial", electronic-publishing: Now available (since 1991) on Minitel -- (all the following comes with "alpha-mosaique" designs, a sophisticated menu system, downloading / printing capacity, and color, all of which it already has -- and high-resolution imaging, perhaps even moving images, and hypertext, which is what's coming) 3615 LISIERE (This is a private service available now to anyone, anywhere, who has Minitel software, Minitel-emulator software with a V23 modem, or a Minitel: in US/Can. fone 212-399-0080 or 914-694-6266 for free telecom diskettes. To get what follows, you won't have to go to a bookstore, or check stock, or order from a book catalog.) Tarif TTC F/min serveur te'le'com 0.12 F 1.27 0.88 0.39 a` la connexion (The price to the reader, dialing from France -- currently nearly the same if dialing from North America -- is US.24 per minute, or US 14.40 per hour, The large publisher -- or the service bureau, in the case of groups of small publishers -- gets US.16 per minute, or US 9.60 gross per hour. This isn't bad for either, when you consider that often-unread books cost users much more than US 9.60, and that publishers thus might be paid something small, but many times, over many years, for each "usage" of a single portion of a given text.) -Expression litte'raire par Minitel (essai, nouvelle, poe'sie, etc): pos- sibilite' d'e'crire et de lire les textes de'pose's. -Abonnement a` la revue Lisie`re qui diffuse une se'lection des textes saisis par Minitel. -Re'action des lecteurs. RESPONSABLE DU SERVICE M. Daniel Bouillot Editions Lisie`re Impasse des Bourales 74410 Saint-Jorioz 50 95 38 30 (Interactive publishing! Publisher Bouillot's idea is to combine 1) the need of the individual writer for contact with a public with 2) the need of the general public for something of interest which they may grasp simply and quickly. The electronic medium serves the dual purpose superbly: 1) a bbs for posting and discussing new works, and 2) a printed review for distributing selected texts.) 1 L I R E 2 ECRIRE 3 JOURNAL 4 ECHOS 5 PENSEES 6 LISIERE ? 7 La Revue 8 Message (Users may, 1) read text, and write their reactions to the authors, 2) write text, 3) read LISIERE news, 4) read "messages to the editor", 5) read an AI-driven "aphorisms generator" tied to their own names, an idea taken from French poet Queneau's "Oulipo", 6) read general information about LISIERE, 7) subscribe to the printed literary review, or 8) write a message to the editor.) UNE AUTRE CONCEPTION DE L'ECRITURE :...LA VOTRE ("Another idea about writing:...Your own.") (translations by jk and d.bouillot.) Que ton vers soit la bonne aventure e'parse au vent crispe' du matin. P.VERLAINE Bienvenue a` vos textes et regards ("Welcome to your texts, and best wishes...") QU'EST-CE QUE LISIERE ? ("What is 'Lisie`re'?") EDITIONS LISIERE Impasse des Bourales 74410 SAINT-JORIOZ Nul n'a force'ment matie`re a` roman ou recueil, et l'on est pourtant beaucoup a` vouloir dire ou e'crire. Me'dias encombre's, et se'lection draconienne reposant bien souvent sur des crite`res de rentabilite', nous ont trop fait ravaler nos mots ("Everyone doesn't necessarily have enough material for a novel or a collection, but everyone has the need to express one's own words. The usual Media -- T.V., radio, newspapers... -- are deluged by proposals, and they have to make draconian selections, too often according to economic criteria.") Les Editions LISIERE proposent sur Minitel un outil d'expression OUVERT A TOUS permettant d'e'crire et de lire poe'sies, nouvelles, humeurs, etc. ("LISIERE Publishing proposes, on Minitel, a tool of expression -- OPEN TO ALL -- permitting the writing and reading of poems, novels, whimsy, etc..") Avant leur mise a` disposition au public sur Minitel, ces textes sont contro^le's par LISIERE pour ve'rifier qu'ils respectent la le'gislation en vigueur, et qu'ils sont d'une lisibilite' et qualite' minimales. ("Before being made available to the public on Minitel, these texts have been checked by LISIERE to verify that they respect any legislation in force, and that they are understandable and of a minimal quality.") Dans l'immense majorite' des cas, ces textes sont tre`s vite rendus disponibles a`la lecture du public de LISIERE, et ils le resteront pendant au moins un mois avant d'e^tre archive's. Mais leur auteur peut les supprimer a` son gre'. ("In the immense majority of cases, these texts are made available to the LISIERE public, and they stay on Minitel for one month before being archived. Their authors may withdraw them at any time.") Les auteurs peuvent a` tout instant connai^tre parmi les lecteurs de leurs textes, ceux qui ont aime', ainsi que prendre connaissance de leurs re'actions au travers des messages qui leur auront e'te' personnellement adresse's. ("The authors may learn of the reaction of their readers to their texts, thanks to messages addressed personally to them.") Une revue, e'dite'e par LISIERE et diffuse'e par abonnement, reproduit une se'lection des textes du Minitel (si leurs auteurs l'ont accepte'). Cette revue sert aussi a` mieux faire connai^tre LISIERE et les textes de ses auteurs. ("A review, edited by LISIERE and distributed every two months by subscription, reproduces a selection of the texts shown on the Minitel, with the permission of their authors. This review also serves to publicize LISIERE and the texts of these authors.") LISIERE a e'te' cre'e'e par des passionne's de l'expression e'crite qui veulent promouvoir l'e'criture et montrer aussi que le Minitel est un instrument d'expression a` part entie`re, permettant de pre'senter des textes courts, qu'ils soient spontane's ou qu'ils aient e'te' longuement travaille's. ("LISIERE was created in 1991 by devotees of the written word, who wish both to give again to the art of writing a natural place in everyday life, and to show that the Minitel can be a full-service instrument of expression, permitting the presentation of short texts, whether they are spontaneous or the products of long effort.") (next: fulltext French poetry publishing, online and interactive) Jack Kessler firstname.lastname@example.org *** FYI France: e-PUBLISHING, online, interactive, fulltext, -- an example / a model? Part 2/2. (Part 1 suggested that, for better or for worse, traditional print publishers, wishing to know how to publish fulltext online commercially, may follow the model used by a relatively-new service on the Minitel: "3615 LISIERE". Some examples of LISIERE's own presentation follow. One can only hope that those of other publishers will be as good.) Six millions de Minitel en France, la possibilite' de lire, d'e'crire et d'e^tre lu a` tout instant, font de LISIERE un formidable outil d'expression et de communication. ("Six million Minitels in France, and the possibility of reading, writing, and being read at the same instant, make LISIERE a formidable tool of expression and communication.") Nous espe'rons que vous appre'cierez. ("We hope that you will like it.") Se'lection d'un texte : Nx +ENVOI : . Terminer : SOMMAIRE Signature : ALCYON ___Titre______________________Genre_____ 1 Tu m'as montre' Poesie 2 Rate' !? Nouvelle 3 ARCHIPEL Poesie 4 COURS TOUJOURS Poesie 5 SOMMEIL Poesie 6 BEAUVAIS Humeur 7 MALIDOR (DEBUT) Nouvelle 8 MALIDOR (SUITE) Nouvelle 9 MALIDOR (FIN) Nouvelle 10 QUAI DE NUIT Poesie 11 SYLDONIA Nouvelle 12 L'AVIDE DE TOUT Portrait 13 LUTTE A MORT Poesie 14 NAZIAR Nouvelle 15 POTERIE Poesie 16 BaYang Nouvelle ________________________________________ Se'lection d'un texte : Nx +ENVOI :10. (Selection of a text by "Alcyon". LISIERE now carries over 200 online authors, and claims to have over 10,000 online readers. This is the type of magic which one can achieve with online media.) Titre :QUAI DE NUIT Genre :Poesie Par ALCYON ________________________________________ La nuit, les wagons dorment au long des quais. Grosse chenille de me'tal qui a rentre' ses pattes. Les portes sont ferme'es, le toit, doucement, se givre. La vie s'en est alle'e vers d'autres sie`ges d'autres paysages d'autres tre'pidations. ________________________________________ Page suivante : SUITE Page pr^Bc^Bdente : RETOUR (Etc....commercial poetry publishing, fulltext and online. The real magic for networked information, though, may be in the "interactive" feature which LISIERE then offers:) Si vous aimez ce texte, tapez ENVOI ...(sinon, tapez SOMMAIRE)... Vous pouvez, si vous le de'sirez, e'crire a` son auteur. Ce message restera confidentiel, mais, pour qu'il vous re'ponde, vous devez avoir une signature. Ecrire a` l'auteur, tapez E +ENVOI ("If you like what you read, hit and you can write a confidential note to the author...remember to sign what you write so the author can write back to you...") __________________________ What a revolution for the process of print publication!: instant reaction by the public, interaction between author and public, "bringing the performance to the people" as Julian Beck and Judith Malina and their Living Theatre tried to say. Publisher / poet Bouillot's own terms are "mutation", "evolution", "revelation", "reciprocation": his greatest wish, he says, is that this new process of "interactive" diffusion might break down the barrier between authors and readers enough to encourage readers to become authors themselves. A "lisie`re", in French, is the frontier between a forest and its surroundings. There are problems with online electronic fulltext. These range from the practical to the metaphysical. Publisher Bouillot suggests a few: 1) online media are "cold" -- they can't, yet, do the "friendly" or at least "personalized" designs of a poem by, say Apollinaire; 2) there still are large economic problems facing commercial print publishers who want to make the transition; 3) there remains a substantial anti-technology sentiment, which considers the computer to be a tool unsuited for literary expression; 4) online media, thus far, present only short texts well (Bouillot is speaking of "real-time" use of Minitel -- other nets' file transfer capacities might help here); 5) page-formatting is severely restricted (Minitel allows only 14 lines and 40 columns per page); 6) thus far, there is only a small, occasional public -- LISIERE in fact has become a Community Information Service for a group of authors and would-be authors which it itself has created. The possibilities, though, seem to me to outweigh the problems. Most of Bouillot's "practical" problems already are being solved by technology: file transfer software and protocols, better screens, etc.: he himself is working with programming which, for example, will allow readers to mark texts as "already read" or "unread", and he even is experimenting with hypertext applications -- "Hyper-poe`me". The sociological questions -- user-resistance and perceptions -- are being overcome more and more every day: users who spent their childhoods with their noses in videogames will be less resistant that those who spent their childhoods with noses in books. The crucial question really is the economic one: how can this work so as to incentivize / benefit commercial publishers -- and this, too, seems solved by LISIERE's example, with the very efficient Minitel "kiosk" billing system provided, in this case, by France Telecom. Then there's the question of whether all this "should" happen. Or is there? It strikes me that while some of us sit around and debate whether this -- online, commercial, fulltext e-publishing -- "should" happen, it will, particularly for this last "economic" reason that the publishers (and the telephone companies) will make a great deal of money doing it. Copyright? Authors' objections are overcome by royalty checks, and these would be forthcoming here, from the "kiosk" billing system. The final questions as always are philosophical: what does this mean for reading, for the traditional relationship between writer, reader, and text? Change, certainly, perhaps for the worse -- I personally find the tendency towards shorter and shorter texts worrisome -- but perhaps for the better as well. There is something very promising in the idea, suggested by LISIERE, that literature might become interactive. (All of this is gone into in more detail, with more examples, in a forthcoming article in the journal, _The Electronic Library_.) ISSN 1071 - 5916 end XXX FYI France (sm)(tm) e - newsletter ISSN 1071 - 5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic newsletter, | published since 1992 as a small - scale, personal, | experiment, in the creation of large - scale | "information overload", by Jack Kessler. Any material / \ written by me which appears in FYI France may be ----- copied and used by anyone for any good purpose, so // \\ long as, a) they give me credit and show my e - mail --------- address and, b) it isn't going to make them money: if // \\ if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives are at http://infolib.berkeley.edu (search for FYIFrance), or via gopher to infolib.berkeley.edu 72 (path: 3. Electronic Journals (Library-Oriented)/ 6. FYIFrance/ , or http://www.univ-rennes1.fr/LISTESemail@example.com/ (BIBLIO-FR econference archive), or via telnet to a.cni.org , login brsuser (PACS / PACS-L econference archive), or at http://www.fyifrance.com . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison - pen letters all will be gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved.
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