Dec 6

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Tools of Change Conference

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.

If you have "tools of change" that you'd like to present to publishers, send us a proposal via the conference Call for Participation.

tags: web 2.0  | comments: 7   | Sphere It

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Comments: 7

  Bill Humphries [12.06.06 11:58 AM]

Let me suggest a keynote for your conference: Ethics.

Over at the Publishing 2.0 blog you mention, Scott Karp dismisses gaming of Digg and search results with:

There's nothing unexpected or inherently "bad" about this -- we just need to remember how quickly "social" can become "commercial" and managing the "community" can become managing the "marketplace."

I call BS. It is immoral. Claiming that paying people to 'Digg' stories to game a search isn't wrong because it happens in "the market" doesn't excuse it. It's payola. It's most likely prosecutable as fraud. And it's poisoning the networks and even those 'sacred' markets we use every day.

  michaelholloway [12.06.06 01:24 PM]

Bill Humphries, I think the point is that what 'Is' right now is going to change or is in the process of changing. Ckeck out Scott Karps' link to Niall Kennedy at:
He follows the evil-doers to discover how they're doing it. Software developers will find ways to thwart this kind of destruction of a great tool like Digg. I don't think Digg has reached 'critical mass' yet. When it does it will, like any Wiki bury these sites by sear numbers.

  Ed Rosenfeld [12.07.06 12:03 PM]

Hi Tim -

ToC sounds like it will be a fine meeting.

As a New Yorker, born and raised, as they say, I have a suggestion:

Why not have a NYC ToC, too.

Best - Ed

  Tim O'Reilly [12.07.06 06:02 PM]

Ed --

We will. Just not this year. We're already up to eleven conferences, and have only so much bandwidth.

  James [12.22.06 05:15 AM]

Would you let your authors write a book in Wiki format and not require them to use publisher supplied templates?

  Tim O'Reilly [12.22.06 09:31 AM]

James -- It depends. Many O'Reilly books are strongly branded, and part of the brand is the look and feel, which is controlled by the template.

However, sometimes authors match that on their own, with other tools.

And in other cases, with books that are not part of an existing series, authors do develop their own look and feel. Kathy Sierra did that for the the Head First books. But now that's a template too...

In fact, I think wikis work best when there is a pre-existing structure. Just look at Wikipedia. It has a LOT of structure -- a template, if you will.

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