There’ve been a few updates on Planned Obsolescence in the last couple of days, most notably that the text is now running in CommentPress 3.1, just released by the Institute for the Future of the Book.
The basic functions of CommentPress 3.1 are much the same as in the early-release version in which Planned Obsolescence was originally posted: readers can comment paragraph-by-paragraph, or page-by-page, discussing a lengthy text in some detail with one another. The site also provides a community blog on which registered users of the site can post and discuss in a more free-form fashion. But the 3.1 software release adds a number of nifty features:
— All readers, registered or unregistered, can now also leave comments on the text in its entirety, via the “general comments” page.
— Comments can now be explored in themselves, not only as comments-by-page, but also as comments-by-author, and each comment read this way links back to the comment in its context within the original text.
— The toolbar has also been significantly streamlined, and it now provides drop-down table-of-contents access at any point in the text.
CommentPress 3.1 is a WordPress plugin that can be used with your own WordPress theme, or with the included CommentPress theme.
So far, my experiments with CommentPress as a review tool have been quite positive; though many of the folks I’d like to get feedback on Planned Obsolescence from have been (I assume) too busy this fall to get to it, those readers who have commented have left me great advice that will be extremely helpful in my upcoming revisions.
But I’m still seeking more feedback, of course. And I’m looking forward to some upcoming new MediaCommons Press publications.