Bringing the Vonnegut Commencement Speeches to Life with Technology
RosettaBooks and technology solution provider Democrasoft today announced the release of the “WeJIT Enhanced” e-book version of a compilation of master storyteller Kurt Vonnegut’s commencement speeches entitled If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young.
The e-book features embedded interactive WeJIT technology, which enables readers to connect with the other readers and even potential readers, directly in the e-book. In the case of the new Vonnegut book, the WeJIT will specifically ask readers to answer the question: “What’s your favorite Kurt Vonnegut quote?” With WeJIT technology, the reader will be able to step into the satirical witticisms and unique perspectives of the iconic author, collected from readers and Vonnegut fans around the world, and to share and discuss these specific quotes with anyone and everyone who is also a fan.
“I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.” – an example of just one “Vonnegutism,” a popular term given by Vonnegut fans and book readers around the world.
“Kurt Vonnegut was known worldwide for his ‘Vonnegutisms’ and this will give his fans a chance to contribute their favorites,” said Arthur Klebanoff, CEO of RosettaBooks.
According to Democrasoft CEO Richard Lang, “E-books are rapidly evolving and we are excited to be working with RosettaBooks in this exciting project. It will be fun to watch and read what Kurt Vonnegut fans around the world come up with, using the embedded WeJIT to collect and share their favorite Vonnegut quotes and perspectives.”
While the “What’s your favorite Kurt Vonnegut quote?” WeJIT contained in the new “WeJIT Enhanced” e-book is a unique e-book feature, anyone with Internet access, even those who don’t yet have the e-book, can join the Vonnegut discussion right now at www.mywejit.com/#!vonnegut. This link can also be shared on all social media platforms, as well as with email.
William Gladstone, founder of Waterside Productions, Inc., the exclusive agency representing WeJITs to the publishing industry commented, “The use of WeJITs with Vonnegut e-books is precisely the reason our firm has invested in bringing awareness of WeJITs to publishers and authors. For the future of book publishing it is essential that digital books take advantage of the ability to create community and discoverability. The WeJIT does both. Readers will be able to use the WeJITs not just to enhance their own reading experience but to become part of the Vonnegut community.” For more information about WeJITs Please go to: http://www.waterside.com/agency/wejit-for-publishers/
This post is an excerpt from the Press Release that was published on May 1, 2013. Find out more about WeJITs at http://www.mywejit.com
You can also find this post on http://www.collaborizeclassroom.com/blog/first-wejit-enhanced-kurt-vonnegut-e-book-released/
Early last week Joe Wikert (Tools of Change; O’Reilly Media) interviewed Democrasoft’s CEO Richard Lang and asked 3 questions regarding a new “portable” collaboration technology called the WeJIT, recently introduced by Democrasoft Inc.
This blog post from Wikert explains what a WeJIT is, and how WeJITs can help e-publishers and authors create dynamic, topic-based discussions around specific content in any e-book.
All of us here at Democrasoft are thrilled about the new developments around WeJITs and appreciate Wikert’s support and role in helping to get the word out about this exciting and super-easy new way to collaborate online.
If you are interested in learning more about WeJITs, as well as and how to get instant collaboration in your e-book (or any e-publication) today, we’d encourage you to read Wikert’s blog post. WeJITs can help you build communities around your individual ideas and topics, while helping you spread the word across all social platforms. Visit http://www.mywejit.com for more information.
Democrasoft Gains Licensing Support With Industry Leader
Democrasoft, Inc. today announced that it has signed an agreement with Waterfront Press, appointing Waterfront as a key representative for the licensing of Democrasoft’s WeJIT™ technology into the publishing industry, throughout the United States. A WeJIT allows an e-book reader to communicate with the author and with other readers from within the e-book, expanding a book’s readership and reach, while reading.
The agreement comes in the wake of the recent joint-announcement by Democrasoft, VOOK, and Waterside Productions, of the world’s first two-way interactive e-book, made possible by WeJIT technology. 11 Days in May, by JD Messinger and published by Waterfront Press, includes 32 embedded WeJIT discussions, enabling the author and readers to interact with each other from inside the e-book. That announcement quickly led to requests from other authors around the country to have the same WeJIT capabilities in their own e-books. Waterside Productions, which has represented more bestselling authors and more bestselling books than all other agencies combined, offered to represent Democrasoft throughout the publishing world on a non-exclusive basis, and will seek to expand the use of WeJIT capabilities throughout the industry.
William Gladstone, founder and CEO of Waterfront Press, expressed his excitement at the expanded functionality and interactivity that the WeJIT can bring to authors, publishers and readers alike. “There’s never before been a way that readers can actually contribute to the content of a book through the process of online collaboration,” said Gladstone. “The WeJIT sets up these unique side-conversations between authors and readers that live and breathe over time.”
Waterside Productions has successfully represented more than 5,000 books to over 50 publishers, generating more than $200 Million for authors including Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Neal Donald Walsh and many others. Waterside was also responsible for bringing the highly-successful series of “…For Dummies” reference books to market.
According to Democrasoft Chairman & CEO Richard Lang “We are thrilled to have Waterside representing us in the publishing world. They are well-known and respected in the industry, and we believe they will do a great job helping us make WeJITs an integrated part of e-books all over the world.”
“The basic WeJIT capabilities are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Lang. “In the future, we expect to be adding more capabilities for publishers, authors and individual readers. We believe that the easy-to-use WeJIT capabilities will breathe new life and longevity into book publishing and will actually promote new hard-cover and e-book sales at the same time.”
About Waterfront Press and Waterside Productions, Inc. Waterfront Press is a wholly -owned subsidiary of Waterside Productions, Inc. a full-service literary agency founded in 1982 in Cardiff, California. For more information please visit www.Waterfrontdigitalpress.com or www.Waterside.com.
About WeJIT’s. (http://www.mywejit.com), a new model for self-contained, topic-based online collaboration that stretches across various platforms and communities.
WeJIT Connects Readers and Authors Inside the eBook
Democrasoft, Inc. and VOOK ePublishing in San Francisco, announced on August 20th the arrival of the world’s first two-way interactive e-book, which features a new technology that allows real-time author and reader-to-reader dialog and collaboration from inside an e-book.
The newly-released book grabbing all the attention, 11 Days in May, published by Waterfront Press, will offer readers the opportunity to communicate directly with both author JD Messinger, and also with other readers, from right inside the e-book. This groundbreaking discussion capability is made possible by a new cloud-based collaboration technology developed by Democrasoft, which links any reader with a book’s author, other readers or any other person with access to the Internet. The new technology is called “WeJIT,” and it promises to forever change the way authors, their books and their readers come together.
According to Democrasoft Chairman & CEO Richard Lang, WeJIT is a new approach to collaboration that allows instant communities to form around any topic of common interest. With a few clicks, an individual WeJIT is formed by any individual wanting to enable an instant, collaborative community. In essence, the WeJIT is a one-page website, with a unique URL, dedicated to a particular topic of discussion, debate or even decision-making, in a multitude of engagement models. It can be formed in a matter of seconds, free of charge for individual use (www.MyWeJIT.com). In the case of 11 Days in May, author JD Messinger has created and embedded 32 WeJITs inside his new ebook, on an assortment of topics covered in the book.
“This is an amazing way for me to communicate with my readers, while they’re actually reading the book,” said Messinger. “It creates the opportunity for readers to have vibrant dialog and exchanges on the multiple ideas contained inside the book. In a way, it creates an instant book club around any subject that readers care to participate in and to involve others in.”
William Gladstone, founder and CEO of Waterfront Press, the publisher of both the ebook and printed editions of 11 Days in May, also points out that readers of the new e-book can actually forward the URL for any embedded WeJIT to anyone, even those who don’t have the book and may have never heard of it.
“What’s amazing is that readers are actually poised to increase book sales by inviting others to join in specific discussions launched from within the e-book” said Gladstone. “That’s a first in the publishing world and when you combine it with the other interactive features offered on the VOOK epublishing platform, we think you’re looking at a watershed event for authors and publishers around the world.”
Matthew Cavnar, VP of Business Development at Vook, said that the Vook ePublishing platform combined with the WeJit capabilities perfectly compliment the interactive features already embedded within 11 Days in May. These other features include images and videos; specially composed music; Messinger’s CNN radio interviews with famous guests, and original artwork.
“The combination of VOOK’s publishing platform and Democrasoft’s WeJIT capabilities is something that we believe is going to completely redefine e-book publishing,” said Cavnar. “We are very excited about the possibilities going forward and believe that this combination is about to take what was already a terrific e-book and turn it into a real game-changer.”
Lang says that the inclusion of WeJIT capability in e-books, beginning with 11 Days in May, is evidence of one of the core advantages that WeJITs bring to online collaboration: “portability.” He points to the fact that every self-contained WeJIT discussion or collaboration is associated with a unique URL (web address), which can then be shared with anyone, using existing social networking platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, to name a few. He said that in future e-books, readers themselves would be able to instantly create and share WeJITs around any topic they are reading about in an e-Book.
“WeJIT is not a competing social network,” said Lang. “Instead, WeJIT is a way to enable an instant community to form around any individual topic, comprised only of people with an interest in that particular topic. There’s no need to join, manage or moderate yet another platform. WeJIT is to collaboration what Google is to search.”
Lang said that anyone wanting to create their own WeJIT to instantly engage any group, large or small, on any topic, can do so by visiting: www.MyWeJIT.com and creating a WeJIT for free. According to Lang, the WeJIT platform is available to larger groups and organization under a variety of licensing arrangements, including white-label.
11 Days in May is available for hardcover pre-release at www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesAndNoble.com. The eBook is available now from Vook at http://vook.com/storefronts/book/11-days-in-may.html.
About JD Messinger. JD Messinger is the former CEO of Ernst & Young Consulting (Singapore), one of 37 distinguished graduates from Annapolis (1981), a former fireman, nuclear submarine officer, and former radio and television show creator, producer and host. In the world of business, JD helped supervise the Valdez Oil spill cleanup and is an advisor to Fortune 100 clients and governments on five continents. He lives in Texas with his wife and their three children. For more information please visit www.JDMessinger.com.
Contact Mark Kithcart at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-993-8683 x 706 for an interview with Richard Lang.
Democrasoft today announced a major milestone development related to Collaborize Classroom, the company’s flagship collaborative education platform. The company announced that more than 1.1 million individual topic-based lessons have been delivered to students since the official launch of Collaborize Classroom in January of 2011.
Collaborize Classroom has been steadily gaining recognition and high marks from teachers, students, and the education and technology industries. Collaborize Classroom, is available to all grade levels, and provides the ability to extend in-class conversations into private and secure online sites that are accessible with any Internet browser. Teachers post topic-based lessons on any subject in their own Collaborize Classrooms and invite their students to participate after school. Each time a new student receives a new lesson for the first time, it is counted as one “lesson served”. Lessons served on Collaborize Classroom have been increasing by about 5,000 per day, and are to be expected to top 1.5 million by the end of next month.
“Reaching this important milestone is important for us because it validates, for us and for the education and technology industries, that Collaborize Classroom is being recognized as an effective way of delivering curriculum to students outside of the classroom,” says Richard Lang, CEO of Democrasoft. “It not only improves student engagement significantly, but it also makes teachers’ jobs easier and more effective.”
One of the keys to successfully being able to deliver well over a million lessons to students in the past year has been the recently created Collaborize Classroom Topic Library. This free global repository of topic-based lessons enables teachers to share the best and most effective individual lessons that they create with other teachers around the world. This sharing capability includes a peer-rating system and enables teachers to easily find the most interesting and appropriate lessons for their own students. With just a few clicks, any topic on any number of subjects from the Collaborize Classroom Topic Library can be copied to any Collaborize Classroom anywhere in the world, at any grade level. To date, more than 16,500 teachers worldwide have launched their own Collaborize Classroom sites, sustaining a 25% average monthly growth rate since January of last year. All of this momentum has been is getting noticed. Collaborize Classroom has recently added two top education awards to its growing list of awards in educational technology. District Administration Magazine named Collaborize Classroom one of its Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products for 2011. While Edudemic.com readers chose Collaborize Classroom as one of the Top 100 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools (http://collaborizeclassroom.com/blog).
“These awards are particularly satisfying because they originate from teachers themselves,” said Lang. “These are the actual teachers deriving the benefits of Collaborize Classroom first-hand, so when they select us as a “top tool,” it means a lot.”
The company also announced today that Collaborize Classroom is featured in a short documentary video that was recently released by GOOD Magazine on its online site. Entitled “Sharing the Wisdom of We,” the video highlights Collaborize Classroom’s contribution to education. It is part of the magazine’s series entitled “Future Learning,” featuring visionaries in the field of education technology.