Over the past year or so, I’ve been asked to give a number of talks focusing on the application of Web 2.0 ideas to publishing. It’s a natural for O’Reilly. We’re an innovative publisher. We’re the originator of the term Web 2.0. But more to the point, publishers large and small are realizing that the ground is moving under their feet, and that the industry will never be the same again.
Technology is fundamentally transforming publishing. From generating ideas to packaging information to delivering products and beyond, everything is different. And many publishers are woefully unprepared. I spoke recently at The Stanford Publishing Course, and O’Reilly editor Sarah Milstein, who attended, reported back, “They loved your talk! But in followup conversations during the rest of the week, I realized that many of them didn’t really know what you were talking about.”
There is so much that publishers need to know: how to effectively apply new Web 2.0 concepts like harnessing collective intelligence, loosely coupled web services, tag clouds, and mashups; content generation technologies like blogs, wikis, and crowdsourcing; content management systems; production workflows for XML publishing; real time data analysis driving publishing decisions; new presentation layer tools like Ajax (and the latest from Adobe, like Apollo); search engine optimization….the list goes on and on.
Accordingly, we’ve decided to launch a new conference entitled TOC: Tools of Change for Publishing. It will be held June 18-20 in San Jose. San Jose? Why not New York? Because we think that Silicon Valley, not New York, is the epicenter of the changes that are driving publishing. We hope to bring publishing CTOs and those involved in new technology evaluation at publishers together with publishing tools vendors as well as innovative publishers in California.
P.S. I’ve called my talks “Publishing 2.0,” and we thought of calling the conference by the same name, but both because Scott Karp pre-empted us by giving that name to his excellent blog on the future of publishing, because the 2.0 meme is getting a bit over-used, and because, well, because we thought TOC was such a cool name for a publishing conference, we decided to go in a different direction. TOC, of course, is publishing industry jargon for “table of contents,” and we hope that our “Tools of Change for Publishing” conference will also be the TOC for those who want to learn about the next generation of publishing technology.