Greetings from Wilsonville, Oregon, where I have just returned from back-to-back conferences. The first, O'Reilly Media's Tools of Change for Publishing in New York City and the second, The Associated Writer's Program Conference in Chicago.
I will try to round up as much info for you as I can about from the notes I captured on Twitter (and a few on Word I made before I gave up and switched to Twitter). These are some that did not go out on Twitter, in case you were following. But eventually well get to some tips from my tweets (aka: twips).
The first session I attended at TOC 2009 was a Tutorial with Chris Brogan. Brogan spoke about the importance of attention, trust, and getting in front of people. His objective as a blogger is to be helpful.
We want things now. We don’t have time for Moby Dick. We’re making platforms. It’s the platforming of books. You’re putting out things that I’ve asked for and demanded or I won’t buy it. Pre–9-11, for example, he read only fiction. Now he has a book coming out with Wiley (title?).
Brogan talked about books as eco-systems. The whole experience around them. He sais this whole book club reemergence is fascinating but joked that he never hears about the book per se more about the talk that goes on in the bookclub.
Brogan referred to bloggers as working like the mafia working to solve distribution problems. He said he's researching the mafia and books are a distribution problem. Publishers are information brokers. If book sales are declining, information is exploding. He suggested that publishers be in the information business and be information brokers.
He said, "Don’t go after the masses. Your communities are clumped into group. Find the perfect 1,000 customers. Go after the 5,000 instead of the million."
He suggest creating café-shaped conversations. For example, he said, comic book shops have to know their clients. He has a local comic book seller who works hard to cultivate Chris’ interests.
Brogan said e-mail marketing is everything. So is mass customizing and café conversations. He mentioned "The Geekorati" and an online tool that helps you hide ideas in the air when you've been to a place (name?). It's a gimmick and, of course, people will go there and get the messages. It's info floating in space but it’s only real if you know how to see it.
Brogan talked about the texturing of information. He asked, what makes for a quality blog? Answer: It’s always trying to interact vs. deliver. What you are hoping to do is to inspire or create some level of two way. Seth Godin doesn't have comments in his blog. He'd rather readers go write a response on their own blog. Brogan on the other hand says, "I find that the comments in my blog are better than the post.
But he cautions bloggers to make commenting easily accessible. "Don’t make people log in!"
He asks, "Are you helpful? Are you making it easier for me to do business? Are you helping me understand in a new way?"
He suggesting including lots of links. Said "corralling" doesn’t feel good to readers. Suggest that there are different ways to deliver money. Chipin.com for example.
That's a good start. I'll keep posting these a little bit at a time. What a great way to remember all that I learned which was way too much to absorb in three info-packed days.
Thanks to Chris Brogan for all the useful tips and to O'Reilly Media for hosting the Tools for Change for Publishing!
Chris Brogan declares me Microfamous. Of course, I let him know that I am famous-famous but whatever (wink)!
Chris Brogan's advice to Publishers after the TOC 2009 Conference.