SocialBook is a terrific example of an emerging class of applications that might be called “[collaborative] thinking processors” as opposed to reading environments or word processors. SocialBook’s structure enables multiple perspectives to be brought to bear on a problem. It’s an exciting real-world proof of Alan Kay’s dictum that “point of view is worth 80 IQ points”
These screenshots are from classroom use, and education is an obvious starting point, but there are other experiments — with private reading groups and at also at the enterprise level (see the Voyager Japan screenshot below) which indicate that social reading is compelling across a wide spectrum of use.
Conversation inside Oroonoko in an upper level British literature survey class; 85 students divided into three sections.
Students at Hildesheim University read their way through a contemporary literary novel. Over 1750 comments by the time they finished. Students report that the commentary became an intrinsic component of the reading of the text.
This frame shows students in two different classes engaging in a conversation via the public community tab. The purpose of the “community tab” is to give readers access to the wisdom of the crowd without compromising the high signal-to-noise ratio of the discussion taking place within a group of people who know each other well.
and last, a screenshot from Japan where SocialBook was used by Voyager Japan to gather and review entries in a contest for project proposals.