Lost artefacts

I was in Arizona last weekend with Julian and others for Emerge, a freaky design fiction get together hosted by Bruce Sterling. We had a fun time, you can read about our exploits and watch the moving pixels over at the Near Future Laboratory blog. We also went for dinner with Neal Stephenson, and got to talking about (amongst other things) book signing in the digital era. Much like people whine about the lack of gatefold album covers in the era of the MP3, there are folks who miss signed books. At the event Neal was asked by a fan to sign his iPad, something he said happens all the time. A quick throwaway idea was to provide an etched pattern on the back similar to internal mail envelopes, but after drawing it, it feels a bit skeuomorphic.

Interesting though, the things which get left behind when formats evolve…