From Digital Literacy to Digital Fluency

From The AtlanticIt’s a new year, and whether or not you believe in resolutions, this is still a great time to implement improvements, make changes and better ourselves.

I find professional resolutions easier to stick to than personal ones (I simply refuse to cut back on red wine) and given that January 1st more or less coincides with the start of the conference season, this is a great time for you to make a few promises to yourself, to better your skills and recommit to innovating in your business or department.

Fortunately, BookNet Canada is here to help, with market research, standards guides and, of course, our annual conference: Technology Forum. This year’s conference will be held on March 6th and 7th at the MaRS Centre in downtown Toronto. Early-bird registration closes on Monday, January 14th so hurry up to save!

As most of you already know, Technology Forum is focused on inspiring and equipping the book supply chain not just to transition but also to innovate in an increasingly digital landscape. And this year’s theme—From Digital Literacy to Digital Fluency—is meant to signal a shift in how our industry interacts with digital. In recent years we’ve been learning about available technology, learning key concepts and vocabulary and getting familiar with tools and workflows—in other words, we’ve been very busy becoming digitally literate. But we’ve grown a lot since then, and we’re become savvier, too. While new concepts and new tools will continue to crop up, we also need to become more advanced, more comfortable and more nuanced in the way we relate to this new order; digital fluency is our new objective.

An article in The Atlantic last year illustrated the difference between literacy and fluency in our context: “Literacy means you know what tools to use and how to use them, while fluency means you also know when and why to use them.” Mastery and innovation can only come after a period of intense learning and experimentation. That’s why this year, Tech Forum’s programming will feature more practical and detailed discussions about pricing, standards, e-singles, and consumer behaviour, while also continuing to shed light on important new developments such as the semantic web and self-publishing. And finally, Tech Forum wouldn’t be complete without showcasing a selection of pioneering visionaries.

This year, the conference features sessions on consumer-centric B2C practices, e-commerce tactics, consumer insight and libraries. Check out the Tech Forum website for more info.