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Old 05-23-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
Logseman
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Ancient History: The beginnings of MobileRead

In case anyone of you has been curious enough as to click the link on my signature, it points to a forum about politics. One which has been started by some people from another forum. This forum decided to kill the part which wasn't about politics, something which did annoy many of us who just liked to switch off and talk about other things, frequently or not. We've started a new forum, whose principal matter is politics too, but which includes the Off Topic zone.

Why this lengthy intro? Because we're, so to speak, newbies. It is said that newbies can learn from the mistakes and the deeds which didn't happen to them. Since we aspire to have a forum as large as possible, I believe that reminiscing the old times of MobileRead, a successful forum, will be worthwhile, both as experience for me and as an exercise of fond souvenirs to the oldest pals around here.

What do you remember of the beginnings/old times of MR?
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:18 AM   #2
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Can we even talk about "ancient history" that's only 6 years old?

I joined MR in '06, when I was researching the possibility of selling e-books online. In that time, we've seen popular ebook formats and devices come and go, and new members appear with each upturn of interest into ebooks.

But in that time, based on debates and discussions throughout the forums, I'm not sure I can say much has changed since then. Members still discuss roughly the same issues regarding ebooks--availability, quality, format, devices, DRM, price, sharing, geographical access. And I think a survey would be needed to asses members' opinions of which of these issues were essentially better, worse, or just the same, as they were when they joined.

My opinion would be that the only thing that's gotten noticeably worse since my joining would be geographical restrictions... and everything else, all things considered, has stayed about the same. I consider this a shame, that so little progress has been made in many of these areas... that essentially, the arguments and points made today are the same ones that were made 4 years ago, with no sign of budging by either side, and no resolution or end in sight. MR is the Peter Pan of forums, forever battling the same battles with wooden swords, sticking out its tongue at Big Bad Authority, having too much fun to bother growing up.

In a way, it's interesting that so many ebook producers, resellers and developers have taken so much from MR... when, in my opinion, MR itself seems to have seen very little development for much of that time, whilst spending a great deal of time cross-examining the development of others.

If anything, the one area that has grown and developed to be a great pressure-releaser has been the Lounge, and the Unutterably Silly threads... more than many others, this group needs a way to vent, and I believe this is the only thing that's kept members from developing a flame-zeitgeist that could singe ETs on Neptune from here.

That being said--and I realize it did not sound very rosy--the fact is that there's an underlying theme here: That ebooks are the next step in literature, and that we all want to be part of that movement, to shape it and to enjoy it. We may argue about the rules, strategies and uniforms, but we're all on the same team, and we all have the same goal in sight--a world of ebooks. That has never wavered on the MR site, and I believe it never will.
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