Growing Functionality in 2007

The Exact Editions system added some important functionality this year.

  1. In July we added The Clipper to the toolbar (its a publisher/opt-out tool, so some accounts will not have it). This allows users to make limited clippings from their magazine subscriptions, for example to include a clipping and citation in a blog. One of the heaviest users of the clipping tool is a Finnish blog about running.
  2. In September with advice and help from Le Monde Diplomatique we introduced a French Language version of our interface (tool tips in French!), and LMD was the first French language periodical on the platform.
  3. At the same time we introduced a French Shop. This may seem like a small thing, but the shop is now a ‘versionable’ layer of code, so there can be a shop for any service which needs to deploy the Exact Editions content engine. For different currencies and languages or specific groups of publications. There will be many shops federated within the Exact Editions platform in the coming year.
  4. For the first 18 months Exact Editions was only able to provide single user password controlled accounts. From October 2007, institutional access was introduced (another publisher-dependent option).
  5. Also in October Berkshire Publishing became the first book publisher to use the platform for promoting its reference titles.
  6. In December ISBNs became a standardly clickable feature in the Exact Editions platform. Clicking on an ISBN takes you to a page like this.

If there is a common theme to these developments it is that a web service needs to extend its capapbilities so that it can serve more users (Francophone web users or institutions), and in a more pervasive and interactive way (Clipping/citations and interactive ISBNs).

Another common feature of these enhancements is that the development cycle was quite short, no more than a few months, and in some cases a few days. A web service can build its functionality gradually and cummulatively, but it can do so much more quickly than the traditional software package. Where innovation is needed, audiences are much preferable to installed bases.