Michael Geist has an article in the Toronto Star about Canadian book 2.0 projects. The two projects cited are Evan’s Wikitravel Press, and LibriVox.
About Wikitravel Press, says he:
For example, Wikitravel, one of the Internet’s most acclaimed travel websites, was launched in 2003 by Montreal residents Evan Prodromou and Michele Ann Jenkins. Using the same wiki collaborative technology that has proven so successful for Wikipedia, the Wikitravel site invited travelers to post their comments and experiences about places around the world in an effort to build a community-generated travel guide.
In less than five years, the site has accumulated more than 30,000 online travel guides in 18 languages, with more than 10,000 editorial contributions each week. The content is freely available under a Creative Commons licence that allows the public to use, copy or edit the guides.
Building on Wikitravel’s success, Prodromou and Jenkins recently established Wikitravel Press, which introduced its first two titles earlier this month. Wikitravel Press represents a new approach to travel book publishing based on Internet collaborative tools and print-on-demand technologies that should capture the attention of the industry for several reasons…
And on LibriVox:
Canadians are also playing a leading role in reshaping the creation of audiobooks. Hugh McGuire, a Montreal-based writer and Web developer, established LibriVox in August 2005. The site is also based on concept of Internet collaboration. In this instance, LibriVox volunteers create voice recordings of chapters of books that are in the public domain. The resulting audio files are posted back on to the Internet for free.
The LibriVox project, which does not have an annual budget, has succeeded in placing more than 1,200 audio books on the Internet, including Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, works from Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and hundreds more.
New technologies are rapidly reshaping the book industry and it is exciting to see how Canadians are quietly playing a leading role in the re-imagining of how books are created and distributed.