Holeman-Press : The multi format/media/channel publication of "Ogglebokk"
A brief account of the publication process : Learning and Findings.
Revised : 12-09-2001
The background for the project has been to explore the new possibilities that
alternative publication channels (i.e. new technology, internet, wireless) and formats
(i.e. web, wap, pda, sms) give. Both from an author's and a publishers perspective.
The basis for project was the printed-edition of the poetry collection
"Ogglebokk", by the Norwegian born universal artist Svein Magnar Lie.
WEB-edition : (photographic)
Published to www.cocoon-culture.com/ogglebokk/
The web edition was designed to be as close to the printed edition as possible. The source
publication was scanned, compressed, and formatted using HTML. The typographical idea was
that the pages would appear as floating in space before the reader, with a photographic
The Navigation was kept as simple as possible, with options for next page & previous
page. Later on an option for selecting a specific page from a list was added.
The main benefit from using a photographically representation of the publication is
that the information loss is minimal. In this publication the visual and non-textual
information played an important role for the perception in the readers mind. This aspect
also applies to the other formats, which will give another impression to the reader.
The main disadvantage with this approach is page load time. Since size
requirements for maintaining a readable A5 page was found to be 80 kB, using
jpeg-compression. Load time varies between : 5s (128kb) 11s(56kb) and 25s(28.8kb). This is
however the worst case scenarios, and the page appear immediately but may take this time
before it is loaded. It was thought that it would appear as a fax transmission on slower
transmissions, and therefore acceptable. With time this problem is anticipated to
disappear, and as such is just a temporary technical limitation.
The other main problem with photographic presentation; was that of search ability.
Since all information was presented non-textually; there was nothing left for the
search-engines to hold-on to than page titles and page headers. The content was not
This problem was however anticipated, and all textual information relating to a page was
added in the meta-tags for that page. This might be cool cause a hit on phrases in search
engine with yield a graphic result.
As a result of reader feedback, a downloadable edition was also developed. [ see ] note ! in Norwegian
Published to Telenor's SMS Central (+47 9000 2100) on 12.June.2000.
Accessed by sending the message CC47 OB to number 1995.
Due to the limitations of max. 160 characters pr. message, a screening of suitable poems
had to be made. Approximately 30 items where found suitable. These where specially
formatted for ease of reading. Special attention where paid to overcome the non-existing
formatting capabilities of sms.
It was found it would be to complicated to providing navigation capabilities for the
poems. Therefore there is no navigation, instead a random poem is selected for each
request. This proved to be quite successful, adding a horoscope like feel to the service.
[ more ] note ! in Norwegian.
Published to Cocoon culture no.47 wap channel : www.wapjazz.com/ogglebokk/ on 23.June.2000.
The formatting language used for this purpose was WML (Wireless Markup Language), which is
basically a subset of HTML with reduced functionality in order to reduce transmission and
WAP(Wireless Application Protocol) is just the underlying transmission protocol, and are
likely to become faster in the near future when faster than GSM technologies such as UTMS
or whatever comes along.
Anyway this WAP-stuff provides means of formatting information and using grafix on WAP
enabled mobile phones, although few of the current models have implemented these
Main challenge was to provide an easy way of navigation. The phone display is very
limited in size, and to long menus and to deep a hierarchy makes the reading difficult.
Two levels of navigation where selected. At level One, The user can select a page
range, that they want to select poems from. They are then taken to the Second level, where
poems are displayed with tittle and page number. When a poem is actually selected,
navigation from poem to next poem can be made easily; providing an option for sequential
reading without all the mess of navigation.
All Author/publisher information where also presented on the first level. Giving
information about the author, even a medium resolution mug-shot picture.
Drawbacks : At the moment (at least in Norway), the current communication cost of WAP
browsing is very very expensive. But with time, when Telenor and the likes are
finished sucking developers dry and aim to target the mass-market the cost will come down.
Probably in some kind of subscription package deal bundled with a WAP phone, making it
Advantages : It was great fun to develop the "application", the technology is
at a more primitive level; more like in the old-times with C-64 and modems and stuff.
WAP/WML provides a way for presenting information anywhere anytime to anyone. At the
current state of the technology, it is particularly suited for textual information. (But
just you wait, there'll soon come someone along and mess the whole thing up with some
Published to www.cocoon-culture.com/ogglebokk/pda/
There is really not that much to be said about the PDA edition. PDA's use HTML for
formatting, same as any PC WEB browser. Primary limitation is screen width and graphics
capabilities (resolution & color); and of course download time and telecommunication
In the PDA edition all information (except page banner gfx.) are removed, providing only
textual information. The total size of the "application" is app. 30 kb, and
collected in one file. Download time with a transmission speed of ca. 14.4kb (GSM) should
be approximately 16 seconds. This makes the total response time quite long, but hopefully
the user will be able to start reading right away. The advantage with doing it like this,
rather that using lot of different pages, is that it may save communication cost. Once the
"document" is downloaded, the user can disconnect and browse in it offline.
Conclusion / Summary :
With time there will come tools that will simplify the process of publishing in
different channels/formats. From what I can see now, once you have the digitized text the
translation to PDA, WAP & SMS is almost given. With WEB edition's there is more room
however; since the user can be assumed to be sitting on a high-powered PC and a low cost
high speed communication line. This gives room for other formats : such as audio/video.
For instance audio-books, videos etc. But for now, that would be to stray to far off the
original idea. This is how ever already in use on site's such as www.poetry.com and www.mp3.com
(Genre : spoken).
Note : all of this html/wml stuff is in reality nothing but data-compression; where
certain information deemed irrelevant are peeled off. Creating a more easily transmittable
representation. This is acceptable if the txt is all there is to it. But with time,
further along the road, the information aspects of the non-textual information will also
become apparent. As with the LP & CD vs. psycho-acoustics.
Recently there have been talk about e-book reading machines : and publications. As far
as I'm concerned I do not think their gonna fly very far. From a publishing point of view,
it looks something like the secure music initiative and digital audio. More likely that
PDA's will be used for reading books in the future or some other multi function wireless
Questions : Contact :
If you have any questions or comments regarding the multi-publication project. Feel
free to make contact :
Holeman-Press, Ted Holeman (v.p.) e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
References / related articles / resources :
- The Future of E-Textbooks by M.J. Rose