"Cheerleading for the new digital publishing paradigm," and a "beta geek" weighs in

TOC 2008 is just wrapping up today with eight tutorial sessions, and there’s already some solid post-mortem blog coverage to be found.

George Walkley, director of digital strategy at Little, Brown, valiantly live-blogged much of the program (our own obsession with "alpha geeks" made me chuckle when I saw the title of his blog: "Life as a beta geek"). George’s closing comments included this one that resonated with Sara Winge’s iPhone observations on the O’Reilly Radar blog:

I’ve never seen so many iPhones — in fact, it seemed that there were as many iPhones in the room as BlackBerries.

PW’s Calvin Reid has also blogged a conference summary, including some great feedback that we’ll use to help make the show even better next year, and he’s also nicely distilled three days into a single sentence:

Overall, this year’s TOC seemed very effective at what it does best: offering a combination of strategic cheerleading for the new digital publishing paradigm, followed by hard-headed technical information from people actually doing the work.

Calvin’s also absolutely right in calling the eBook panel (moderated by Newsweek’s Steven Levy, who wrote about the Kindle last fall) a "lively" one: it was certainly among the highlights for me. One of our messages for publishers is that it’s likely that an eBook revival is very likely on the horizon, an assertion bolstered by the energy we heard (from all sides) during that panel, and by the fact that today’s tutorial on eBooks received the most sign-ups of the bunch. We’re keeping a close eye on the recently adopted .epub standard, and see a lot of promising options for publishers (and readers).