We have recently ‘stealth’ launched some digital books that seems to me so good that I am a trifle frustrated that hardly anyone has yet noticed that books now have live phone numbers and post codes. With the iPhone, such digital books give a whole new resonance to the phrase “Let your fingers do the talking.” I blogged the Time Out City Guide to London a couple of weeks ago here. But you can now buy it for £4.95 from our Time Out shop. The same subscription will run on any computer, but the iPhone potential is the killer.
Of course, the iPhone is still a small market segment. There are barely 12 million users in the world, and the digital travel guides work in pretty much the same way on desktops and notebooks. But it is the application of digital travel guides in a phone that really intrigues me, and currently few PCs have direct phone connectivity. Also, the iPhone knows where it is, and the Google Maps implementation on that platform is very well thought out. So the live post codes in the Time Out book also work very well as a direction finder. Google and the iPhone can take the credit for that very cool resource.
This sense of mild impotence and excitement about a new mobile interactivity for books, has encouraged me recently to follow blog links to stuff about PR. Aaron Swartz’s thoughts seemed bang on. Especially apt is the note of one commenter who points out that successful web PR is a bit like ‘Restaurant PR’.
This is exactly what we are doing “Basically, you open your doors to the public without advertising, to serve those folks that stumble by and see you are open.” But we are still in stealth mode and we have not yet seen a review…… BTW where does stuff like this get reviewed? Reviewing the new and unexpected functions of a digital book is not a trivial matter.
Restaurants get reviewed in Restaurant Guides, of course. So maybe its time we digitised a Restaurant guide, but who will review that? Who reviews the digital reviewers?