Just found an interesting service on the O’Reilly Network Safari BookShelf. Safari BookShelf is a subscription model for eBooks. They basically have loaded a whole lot of computer books into a database and made them available on line. From the web site:-
As a subscriber to Safari, you have the ability to search across the entire Safari Library at all times. Search results are rendered in two different ways depending upon whether a book resides on your personal Bookshelf or not. For every book that resides on your Bookshelf you can see every word of that book from cover to cover. For all other books, you can browse or search in preview mode. Previews consist of the first few paragraphs of text. Preview as many sections as you like, as often as you like before you decide whether to add it to your bookshelf.
The 1st generation was a web subscription like NetFlix, 2nd generation they have built a web services API to allow developers to tap into the database. You can build applications that use the content for other purposes such as online help systems. My Safari allows people to de-construct the books and build them back up, therefore a professor could create their own custom text books based on the content from the different books or create custom corporate documentation sets.
There is an RSS feed for when new books become available and an affilate program.
Looks very interesting, and it is a great tool for the IT professional. It also provides and interesting framework for an eLearning tool.