Yesterday was Day 1 of BookExpo and I’m already exhausted. It was a great day filled with interesting speakers – Alexander Manu, Terry McBride, Terry O’Reilly, Anthony Williams, danah boyd, and Sarah McNally. [more on them later… probably]
Day 1 – Devices & Desires, was focused mainly on “getting what we want from the book revolution”, or in lay-terms trying to get the guys who hold the purse strings to recognize that behaviours are changing and if we don’t wake up the industry is going to suffer. Or perhaps just redefined by someone else who is a little more tech-savvy, gadget-friendly and quicker on their feet.
It was fascinating to see the difference between last week’s Mesh Conference and this week’s BookExpo. Where at Mesh everyone seemed to be on the same page, at BookExpo the tension created by discussing technology and evolving communication styles and behaviours was palpable. For me, the keynote by Alexander Manu was riveting and insightful, but there were attendees who went up to the microphone simply to say they didn’t “get a word of it”… and they said it with pride. And I was more than a little surprised at the hostility and negativity of Mary Lou Finlay’s response to the key note, though it was evident that she was reflecting the views of a large portion of the room.
Still, it was better than last year’s response to what was essentially the same message:
times are changing, adapt and embrace the opportunities or
be prepared to wake up one morning and wonder what the hell just happened.