Ignite TOC!

Ignite sessions are rapid-fire presentations in which a speaker has 5 minutes and 20 slides that rotate every 15 seconds to deliver a message  (they result in a lot of breathless people!) and have become a popular feature of TOC.  This year’s session was no exception.  Because of the rapidity of the presentations, it is impossible to report on them comprehensively, but here are a few interesting points that impressed me.

  • Kate Eltham (CEO, Queensland Writers Centre and founder of if:book Australia): Four Things a Catastrophic Flood Taught Me About Social Media …(and One Thing It Taught me About Publishing)
    Social Media is not just about a person.  It collapses emotional distances, and every node on a network has a role to play.  In the recent flooding in Queensland, Australia, Bookseller magazine used social media to track the welfare of every independent bookstore in Queensland.  Conversation occurred within the community.  Publishers must not miss out on the story.
  • Michael Riordan (Director and a founding member, Open Publishing Lab, Rochester Institute of Technology): The Best Students You Should Already Know
    We are in the post-print world where different disciplines are combining.  There is nothing interesting about standing still.  Content forms connections in unforeseen ways,  and students, with the energy of youth, can help you see them and rethink how publishing works.
  • Scott Rauguth (Director, Sales & Marketing, Precision Graphic Services, Inc.): E-Publishing Zen: Nothing to Write Om About, OR What is the sound of an e-page turning?
    Some people say that balance is missing in today’s publishing world.  But balance is not a static concept.  Using digital technologies correctly is an application of balance.  We are no longer working towards a textual goal but a visual one.
  • Charles Stack (Co-Founder and CEO, Sideways, Inc.): My Daddy Killed the Bookstore. And Now he’s Killing the Book: Disruption and Responsibility
    The need for storytelling has not changed, even though we are killing the printed book.  Books have context and communicate both backwards and forwards through time.  They a transmitter of content.  Go ahead and kill the book, but promise your kids you will build them a worthy successor.
  • Patricia Arancibia (Manager, International Content, Barnes and Noble Digital Group): Why Selling eBooks in Spanish in the U.S. and How to Make it Happen in 8 Months
    Barnes & Noble (B&N) recognized that few e-books in Spanish were available, but there was a strong market for them because Latinos were the fastest growing group of Internet users. Spanish is the second most natively spoken language in the world, with 518 million speakers.   So B&N launched NOOKbooks en Espanol, the first Spanish language e-bookstore in only 8 months.  One of the major lessons they learned was that it is important to speak to these customers face-to-face.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

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