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Laura Hazard Owen in Paid Content says she started keeping a diary 15 years ago, before Twitter and Facebook.

In a digital era, personal journal-keeping has changed — but those who privately chronicle their lives still find the practice useful.

On July 8, 1997, a few days after my thirteenth birthday, I sat down at the big old desktop PC in my family’s basement, opened a new Word document and started my first diary. 15 years later, I am still writing in the diary I began back in 1997…

That article was notable for me because my 95 year-old mother and I teamed up on a project called 95 Years in 95 Pages, where she summarized each year of her life in a few paragraphs.

I used WordPress.com rather than Facebook’s Timeline and SoundCloud to record her comments.

It was a lot of fun for both of us.

In May, the IDPF Digital Book Conference will likely be abuzz with new ePub3 tools. Epub-3 can embed audio and video, among other things.

Perhaps ePub3, utilizing HTML-5, CSS and Javascript, will enable app-like resources that can be easily built and downloaded. Could ePub3 compete with Apps?

DIY apps builders allow almost anyone to build simple apps by adding text, images and other features into a ready-made template. I’ve been told that PhoneGap is the way to go since it can use my plain vanilla HTML-5 and CSS skills, but can detect your location with GPS and can utilize a camera for reading QR codes.

Webapps or epubs can’t do that.

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A GPS driven virtual tour might detect your location and automatically trigger page loads and narration. Choose different themes (Entertainment, Green, Business, People, Weird, or Random), and it would play automatically. Alternatively, an ePub-3 download might include sound and video without requiring a constant broadband connection.

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