File this under signs of the times: Tim O'Reilly announced on the O'Reilly Radar blog today that his company will launch a new event, Tools of Change (TOC) aimed squarely at the publishing industry. I spent the first half of my professional in the dead trees business in one capacity or another and this overview of the challenges facing that industry really hit home:
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.
I can't argue with anything in that statement. Jeff Jarvis - a dead trees ex-pat with much more impressive credentials than I have - discusses these trends on an ongoing basis on his BuzzMachine blog. What occurred to me though is how true much of that is to any business, in any industry today. Seems to me you could refactor the TOC content for just about any vertical and have a productive, informative, and worthwhile exchange on ideas and information.
I'm reading Citizen Marketers right now, the new book by customer evangelism gurus Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. It's no surprise that many of these dynamics O'Reilly lists are core themes in their analysis of the impact and implications of an engaged marketplace empowered by these data aggregation and publishing technologies.