There is none. .mobi is a brand. But it is less a brand than that it is a format, except when it is not. Consider the following:
Short post – more of a call to arms, to discuss burning point for many people today. That is, What Platform to choose to purchase this iconic Steve Jobs biography eBook. I am completely at a loss – what could have been price war between heavyweights in this category, turned into a paralyzing situation for consumers (like me) preventing our purchase completely. My interpretation is that Publisher insisted on same pricing across all platforms! What Gives?
Anyhow, let’s recap the contenders
- Kindle – Interestingly, I don’t own any – and yet I have Tons of options for reading Kindle books (iPhone, Tablet, PC, Mac, etc) and already own many books on the platform. This is truly an achievement, which I applaud Amazon for!
- Nook – I really have nothing against them, but I have virtually no prior books on the platform and no dedicated eInk reader. Still, their readers looking better all the time and they caught up to Amazon with Nook software reader being available on most platforms. Good job, B&N!
- Kobo – Once partner of failed Borders, is an independent maker of eInk devices and the software platform. They are also present on many platforms and ironically I do own that eInk reader I picked up at Borders closeout. We use it once in a while, but who knows about long term prospects?
It is possible to care about this, and Ari does. But I think he cares like the guy at Uniroyal who is convinced that you will appreciate your vacation more if you drive there on his tires.
Content is king. On the other hand, as a reference book, the Jobs biography is not particularly referencable. This should matter much more to students, in which case, Amazon has already proven to have the right foresight. In fact I'm going to make a prediction, and please rememeber that I said so.
If the internet has value, it is only partially because of content, but mostly because of network effects. That matters most for consumer networks for the exactly the same reason television commercials and super bowl ads. It provide markets.They are delivery vehicles for consumer markets. Period.
But when it comes to knowledge. Amazon has the superior strategy over Google. To get the same amount of knowledge, Google has to surf a whole lot more web. Amazon already has it in a book.
Now let us presume that you are some sort of savant, or just extremely well-read. The marginal value of a Google search decreases in proportion to the amount of knowledge you actually already have.
Getting back to the original question: Likewise the more well-informed you are, the less you will care to look backwards to what you already know. Therefore the marginal utility of the openness of the digital publishing platform is less significant.
Somewhere, I have read about a conversation between an admirer and Umberto Eco. Upon seeing Eco's vast library, the admirer was shocked to find that Eco didn't put much stock in it. "I've already read those books". What was interesting to Eco was what he had yet to read. From Eco's perspective, the format that mattered most was the internal format of his mind.Oh. And for the record, I got the audiobook.