Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Life-changing Panel

Over the years, I've felt that certain books, plays, movies, poems, works of art had changed my life. And it goes without saying that many people and places have.

But never would I have expected that a panel entitled EBooks: New Trend for a New Decade would have that power.

I'd learned about the panel some weeks earlier. In a list of its spring programs, the Center for Communication emailed this description:

As more readers turn to digital books, a variety platforms are emerging and with them, a new wave of opportunities. Find out how writers and publishers are embracing multimedia and repurposing content to create "enhanced reading" experiences - and learn about the skills you'll need to enter this brave new world of publishing.

I was ambivalent. As a writer needing to market her work, I'd been to a lot of panels on the brave new digital publishing world, addressing issues like whether self-published works are taken seriously, online marketing resources, and how much html writers need to know. Did I really need another one?

But this turned out to be not just another "how to" panel--but "why to"--not just about how publishing is changing but how our world changing--a truly visionary panel, which I wish my sci fi loving boyfriend could have witnessed.

I'm still thinking about what I heard there, and have finally resolved to join the Twittering throngs. And when I do, these are folks I will follow.

Here are a few quotes and paraphrases transcribed from my illegible notes that may at least convey the sense of what got said.

Richard Eoin Nash:

"The individual is a construct."

"The industrial revolution style model of production is over."

"If you get to choose to be an intermediary, you can choose what kind of intermediary you will be."

Reading more intimate than sex: Someone whispering in your ear for 15 hours.

Re: libraries: "Power is in the hands of those who can orchestrate demand."

Embracing community as a way of understanding the future of content.

"In a sense, books brought about the kind of society we have now."

How writers will make a living in the future: "The creation of unhackable experiences."

“minimal viable product” For many people the cell phone is the effective credit card.

"The genius of Twitter is that it allows you to see what people are talking about."

Bob Stein:

"The core competency of future publishing is the core competency of gaming now."

"World of Warcraft is fiction."

Individuals are going to be in groups based on collaborating. If we don't get there, it'll just be because we've done ourselves in.

“Everything we know about our daily life is about to change”

"We're too far ahead too make any money, but it's an interesting place."

"You can't move from a society based on the individual to a society based on groups without ditching capitalism."

"Writers are going to learn what musicians have learned: they're going to get paid to show up."

Matt Shatz:

"Download a 4-square app."

For further information about the useful free programs offered by the Center for Communication, see

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