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Web Generation 5.0 12 Feb 2010

Welcome to the Spinifex Press website generation 5.0. Our first website was up with a complete list of titles in late 1995, and we were the third Australian publisher to have an active website (after CSIRO Publishing and Lonely Planet). Over the years we have upgraded our website along with technological shifts. From plain HTML to using frames to using CMS, PHP and MySQL with each new move our website has become more and more interactive and useful – to customers, booksellers, authors, researchers, festival organisers and a host of people who would not otherwise know about our authors and their fabulous books.

In 1996, we set up an interactive website book interface. By today’s standards the interaction was minimal, but it allowed us to experiment with reader reactions to Suniti Namjoshi’s novel, Building Babel. This novel is an allegorical discussion about how culture is created and how internet culture might develop. Called the Babel Building site, it included poems, drawings, music and reflections by readers. It has been archived by the Pandora Archive at the National Library of Australia.
Many Spinifex authors have helped us traverse the new digital terrain: Dale Spender with her groundbreaking Nattering on the Net (1995); Rye Senjen and Jane Guthrey with The Internet for Women (1996); Beryl Fletcher’s novel, The Silicon Tongue (1996) and Suniti Namjoshi’s Building Babel (1996). These books were followed by the anthology CyberFeminism (1999).

In mid-2006 we decided to take the chance and leap fully into the digital era. We began working with ValueChain to begin converting our files so that we would be able to sell our titles as eBooks. We have steadily increased the number of titles and are now increasing the platforms available as well at the Spinifex eBookstore.

We started early with eBook development and have learned a great deal in the process as well as contributing to national discussions about the way forward. Finally, eBooks are the new big thing in Australia, except that not many companies are yet actually selling them. Spinifex has been doing so for three years, yet we have trouble getting airspace about our pioneering endeavours.
We are pleased to be launching the fifth generation of our website. We want to keep in touch with our readers wherever you are. We also want to help authors and readers connect and we love hearing from you via our Spinifex Facebook. You can follow news announcements on Twitter and soon you can subscribe to our News page via RSS and check out many authors’ personal sites and blogs via their bio pages.

Susan Hawthorne will speak at the APA’s Digital Revolution Symposium on Feb 15.

Associated Author: Susan Hawthorne

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