This story caught my eye today:
Amazon’s Kindle hit an important and startling milestone yesterday: On Christmas, the company sold more Kindle books than physical books.
If the Kindle and other e-readers are becoming so popular isn’t it just a matter of time until documentation will be available as a download to e-readers?
What are the implications for technical communication? It shouldn’t be that much different than producing a document for download as a .pdf, as the Kindle can read .pdfs. I see it being especially useful for service manuals. A company could equip its technicians with an e-reader containing the necessary manuals already inside, much as some companies do now with laptops. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has heard of this being done yet.
Personally as a substitute for books I am against e-readers. First of all I think reading is a tactile experience that includes smell and touch. Secondly, it would destroy the market for used books. Not everyone can afford new books. I buy my books from http://www.betterworldbooks.com which offers low cost used books and $3.98 overseas shipping.