BISG’s Making Information Pay 2010: Points of No Return was only yesterday morning, but it still feels like a dream. That may have to do with the inevitable daze of my first trip to NYC, but it may also be chalked up to the high speculation-factor of most of the morning’s talks. Not like that’s a bad thing, though; speculation can be our friend! From Mike Shatzkin’s survey which asked publishing types to predict the future of their jobs, to advice from George Lossius (CEO of Publishing Technology) about why technological investments will be crucial, overall the morning was a giant “nine-month memo” (as mentioned by Bruce Shaw from Harvard Common Press) of predictions to revisit later.
One of the resonating, over-arching themes of the day (aside from defining when/where/what is the “point of no return”) was that the future is agile. In order to “re-invent the links in the supply chain”—a recommendation offered by BISG Executive Director Scott Lubeck—for an increasingly digital industry, collaboration is key. Yet this won’t be possible unless the conception of supply-chain practices and publishing roles changes from the legacy-based “this-is-how-we’ve-always-done-it” to the more agile “what-will-help-us-do-more-tomorrow.” While there’s no single answer or right way to make this happen, multiple speakers mentioned an “XML-early” production workflow for easier format conversion, as well as described integrating publishing processes by blurring the lines between editing/sales/marketing.
Overall, it felt like MIP was encouraging everyone to become a newbie again: to ask questions, figure out what everyone else is doing, and try everything out.