With more people making stuff than ever before, how do we free up things being produced and get them quickly into the different publishing forms we have today such as Kindle, e-readers, and others?

[2011 Note: Update: Matt Bernius is past visiting professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Print Media's Open Publishing Lab (OPL). You can keep up to date with Matt's current work at the intersection of technologies and cultures at mattbernius.com/]

Matt Bernius, Co-Director, and the team of researchers at the Open Publishing Lab (OPL), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester, NY explore timely questions and solutions to address new forms of innovation in publishing. opl.rit.edu

The OPL team of graduate and undergraduate students work to solve the challenges of publishing by designing, building, and integrating the interactivity of the Web. By using online tools catalyzed by socialization, OPL tests, applies, and distributes successful models to thousands of people enabling them to tell their story live, widely, and without interruption.

Here are the top questions addressed by the OPL team:
What is the future of publishing?
How can we enable publishing - not just to enable content creation - but what are our innovation opportunities in the repurposing of content?
How can content be gathered from multiple information sources, combined and aggregated into new formats?
How do we enable the flow of information back and forth between live as-its-happening to a reader miles
or continents away?

OPL addresses the long tail of publishing. For example, consider the movie "Transformers" which costs hundred's of millions of dollars to produce. It needs to reach the biggest audience possible. The new opportunity in publishing is to enable what people say about the movie and to whom, thereby reaching thousands or more people quickly. OPL creates new solutions to address the challenge of the long tail of publishing: how can OPL enable 1000's of people to reach one or two easily, simply, and affordably? Enabling everyone to tell their story in aggregate has an exponential effect.

OPL is working on four key products:

Innovation News is built on a Druple platform to report news and events from the field or to be used for community news papers. Stories can be submitted from any wireless device, collected, and aggregated via emailed stories, hashtags, wiki pages, etc. with GPS location visualization.
Link: opl.rit.edu/project/innovation-news

Open Publishing Guide (OPG) is to be an aid to people interested in self publishing. OPG is a repository of self publishing information such as: book templates to advice about self-publishing processes, an online coaching process of how to publish, an archive of print on demand services, and publishing resources available in the public domain.
Link: opl.rit.edu/project/open-publishing-guide

Page2Pub aggregates content from the Internet into a portable, print-ready format. Page2Pub is an open source software project that OPL hopes will provide others with a platform for research into this area.
Link: opl.rit.edu/projects/page2pub/about

meetu is a social networking game to facilitate network building, accelerate idea to project collaborations, and talent and skills sourcing. Meetu leverages print and publishing in an actual event to carry those social interactions online to various social networking sites.
Link: opl.rit.edu/project/meetu

All work is generated by graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and researchers working in collaboration leveraging the knowledge and skills of cross campus thought leaders and experts.

OPL:
• Extends existing publishing platforms
• Enables new publishing products and business models
• Empowers individuals and communities to easily tell their stories as never before

Open Publishing Lab @ RIT opl.rit.edu/
Images © Copyright Alice Merkel. All Rights Reserved.

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