Thursday, June 12, 2008

Digitise or Die?

Today we received an invite to ‘Digitise or Die?’ and wondered whether the title had been dreamt up by a marketing person in search of a cheap thrill or someone serious about moving the digital agenda forward. Yes we have seen the full page adverts on the Bookseller but thought it was the title of the latest high adventure blockbuster. The answer that it is the latest in a series of conference seminars from The Bookseller. It appears that there is now a conference, or debate, on digitisation every month, each is aimed at the same publishing people. In this case; ‘Publishers, digital directors, editors, authors, marketing directors, publicity directors, retailers, digital strategists, digital consultants, agents, digital design agencies, software providers, warehousing and distribution IT specialists, and digital asset managers’.

Will anybody be left in the office on 3rd July?

‘Digitise or Die?’ is at best scare mongering and at worst bad copy. Does it promote digital strategies, inform and educate and share best practice or is it merely there to fill conference seats? Do we now have to resort to a title fit for a fiction best seller in order to differentiate one digital conference from the pack? What will be next, ‘Temple of Digital Doom’, ‘The Digital Conspiracy’, ‘The Digital Eagle has landed’ ? Perhaps we are to blame in using the title ‘Brave New World’?

It interesting to note the agenda which is very wide and covers every conceivable digital angle, that is except death and one mention of the word author. There are some interesting ‘book people’ speakers, with a keynote address from what some may refer to as a digital kleptomaniac and a chance to see not all the ebookreaders, but that one earmarked for a Waterstones launch in the late summer. There is also the usual self prophesying, consumer research. The one gem in the agenda is the presence of David Worlock who is always interesting to hear and has genuine insight and knowledge on digital matters.

Can we remove the fear factor sound bites and focus on the opportunities that digitisation brings to the table.

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