Sounds good to me Stephen! One question I do have w.r.t. to RSS as vehicle for distribution. Isn’t RSS, or at least aren’t RSS reading tools, based on the assumption the timeline is a key organising principle? It only shows the most recent elements in a feed, and RSS readers tend to not show ‘old’ posts, for whatever value of old is adopted. In the case of your book example, my reader will not show the chapter items anymore as of tomorrow, as they are timestamped over a month ago. If time is not an organising principle for the content feed, would h-feed or otherwise meaningfully marked-up HTML, or indeed OPML itself not be as useful? Though I agree that RSS, and the ability to import lists of feeds as OPML is widely distributed and adopted set-up already, so that we could do it now.
We could have this - if this is what we want - in very short order. Books and OER distributed by RSS. OPML lists creating collections for specific purposes - courses, discussion lists, whatever. RSS readers like gRSShopper using these OPML files to aggregate the contents and present them inside the student's own integrated learning environment. And then these - chapters, resources, comments, etc. - shared through the network among people taking the same course, working in the same community, or associated in any other way.