textz: the anti gnutenberg

How can we share texts?

textz.com is a refreshing ascii simple project for sharing texts. They seem to be against everything including encoded texts and copyright. textz is the antidote to complex and expensive e-books and xml texts. See textz.com – we are the & in copy & paste. Authors like Douglas Adams, Neil Stephenson, and Slavoj Zizek have works posted.

Their interface is interesting, but doesn’t seem to work reliably. There is an annoying scrolling news feed at the bottom (while a cute hack, it doesn’t seem to add to the site unless one considers the feed more textz.)

Could we hook this into TAPoR to give analysis features? Probably.

Have you noticed the use of “z” instead of “s” to create names that can be trademarked (not that textz would believe in trademarkz.)

A quote from the “concept” page:

“we are not the dot in dot-com, neither are we the minus in e-book. the future of online publishing sits right next to your computer: it’s a $50 scanner and a $50 printer, both connected to the internet. we are the & in copy & paste, and plain ascii is still the format of our choice. it shouldn’t require a plug-in to read a book on the net, nor should it require a credit card. the text industry is a paper tiger. along with the mass erosion of their proprietary rights goes the vanishing of their digital watermarks. packed today, cracked tomorrow. whatever electronic gadgets they will come up with–they are all going to be dead media on their very release day. forget about your brand new kafka dvd. i already got it via sms. one shouldn’t expect the 50 million former users of napster to be digitally illiterate: they won’t judge an e-book by its cover.”

While they are right that we can probably only trust ascii, it is still limited and the format is only part of the problem of preservation and dead media.