So, I went out to Shippies for another surf today. It was awesome. On the way I was pondering a lot of Coko things. One thing in particular is on my mind – how do we change the solutions provision ecosystem in publishing today?
This is actually what Coko is all about – breaking down the legacy, big box, proprietary software lock-in that exists in the scholarly publishing sector today. But there are many things that need to change in order for this to happen and my mind is on one in particular.
The current situation is that publishers ‘buy in’ a solution. This comes with support for the software, hosting, deployment etc. Publishers only have a limited choice when it comes to selecting one of these solutions, each of which has been developed by a vendor and their own internal development staff. Hence, the developer market for publishing is pretty contained. But what if we could change that?
What if we could stimulate the current dev culture (and I’m being expansive with the use of ‘dev’ to include all those involved in the dev process, not just developers) to start working with publishers directly. What if every small town which has a university, which might have a small press or Journal of some description, did not have to look to the big software solution providers but could just ask their local dev shop to help them solve their publishing infrastructure needs…
What if we could decentralise the publishing development sector by empowering a whole lot of dev shops with the tools to build out publishing solutions for their local university?
Essentially, right now, this publisher development sector does not exist…dev shops don’t even know it is ‘a thing’…but if we could let them know and give them the tools to create it…. the change in the publishing sector could be exponential…
So I’m wondering how we could stimulate this to happen. What are the mechanisms we need to put into place to make this work?