The Virtual BookClub
Many years ago, in the late 80s, a mate and I fantasised about creating what we called Virtual Cafés – bars with a large wall that was nothing less than a giant video screen with embedded cameras. The idea was that we could build a network of such cafés around the world, and that instead of having a drink with Joe Sixpack from around the corner, you could have one with Joe Sixpack in Rio. Timezones permitting. I still think it’s a cool idea, but at the time the technology was both inadequate and way too expensive to be anything more than a topic for pubtime speculation.
But today’s a different matter – and last night I was part of a virtual bookclub gathering to chat about my book. The hosts were the Avid Reader bookshop in Brisbane’s West End, and I was in my Coogee study, here in Sydney. It wasn’t quite a virtual café, but it worked well enough – and astoundingly was accomplished with nothing more than our respective Macbooks and a data projector. All we needed was Margaret Atwood’s book signing robot and the future would have been complete 🙂
Here’s the first five minutes…