Official Unofficial Tech Forum Slide Awards 2014

Our Tech Forum speakers are pretty much the greatest, if we do say so ourselves. And while it’s normally the presenters themselves who get all the glory, I think the humble Keynote or Powerpoint presentation deserves to share the spotlight. Even in a day full of witty quotes, snazzy graphs, and info-packed lists, some slides do stand out. Here are some of my personal highlights from this year’s Tech Forum and BookNet 101. (Want to judge for yourself? You can view all the slides here!)

Slide Clearest on the Concept

At BookNet 101, we look at lots of ways to use your bibliographic data. We dress it up, pull it apart, flow it into cool services, and more. But before you can do any of that, you know what you need? Awesome metadata. This slide gets that.

Shannon Culver, from “Combining Print and Digital Metadata Workflows” (Video)

Most Intimidating Chart (tie)

I love a data-packed chart as much as the next person (okay, yes, maybe even a little bit more), but some of our presenters pulled together some truly impressive data visualizations that I’ll admit left me blinking blankly when they first popped up on the screen… (click to enlarge)

(l-r) Graham Bell, from “Metadata Models and Representations” (Video); Nathan Maharaj, from “New Thinking on Digital Book Pricing” (Video); Robert Wheaton, from “The New Publishing Skillset” (Video)

Special Achievement in Accurately Representing How I Think E-readers Work

Books go in. Fun comes out! Kristian Guillaumier’s presentation goes on to de-mystify e-reading technology and envision what it will be capable of in the (very near) future, but he kindly starts with the basics.

Kristian Guillaumier, from “Building a Smarter Ebook Reader” (Video)

Most Heartening Statistic

Industry trends can be a downer. But in his presentation “Editors Eat Robots,” Richard Nash points out one area where traditional methods still reign supreme: editorial jobs are at low risk for being replaced by computers. Hurrah!

Richard Nash, from “Editors Eat Robots” (Video)


Most Surprising Trend

Apparently this won’t surprise recent graduates (or higher-ed publishers), but textbook rentals are all the rage these days. It will be very interesting to follow this trend and see what kind of models develop to meet the need here. Will startups be involved? Stay tuned.

Len Vlahos, from “Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Ed” (Video)

Gif d’Or

We hope out-of-town Tech Forum attendees were won over by Christen Thomas’ Blue Jays gifs. Because if they weren’t, they will find they are cheering for the wrong baseball team come autumn.


Christen Thomas, from “Covering Your Bases: 2014 Standards Implementation and Business Planning” (Video)

Oddest Demo Book

Many presenters opted for highbrow, awards-shortlisted Canadian titles when they needed examples (bonus points for multiple Annabel shout-outs—you know who you are!). This slide dared to be different. Also, I would read this.

Tarah Theoret, from “Increasing Discoverability with NetGalley” (Video)

Honourable Mention: You Had to Be There

These made sense in context, honest! Fortunately, if you weren’t there, full videos and short video highlights of most Tech Forum and BookNet 101 presentations are now available.

Noah Genner, from “Getting to Know the Canadian Book Buyer” (Video);  Robert Wheaton, from “The New Publishing Skillset” (Video); Nathan Maharaj, from “New Thinking on Digital Book Pricing” (Video)