This is not a discussion of whether ebooks are killing treebooks, or whether it’s possible to get cozy with an Amazon Kindle. It’s about how participatory culture and the online world interact with good old book publishing. Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, Deborah Schultz and fellow panelists will share with the audience a variety of perspectives on what’s going right and what’s going wrong in publishing, assess success of recent forays into marketing digitally, digital publishing, and what books and blogs have to gain from one another. Penguin Group (USA), which houses some 40 plus imprints and publishes an extremely broad variety of physical and digital products, everything from William Gibson’s first ebook in the 90’s to Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food to Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels (the source for HBO’s True Blood) is deeply involved in exploring ways that old and new media might better collaborate. Audience members are invited to speak up about what they think book publishers could / should be doing to better provide relevant information and content to blogs, websites, and online communities. Come tell old media what you want and how you want it.
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Clay Shirky’s lucid and penetrating analysis will steer us through the online social explosion and ask what happens when people are given the tools to do things together, without needing traditional organisational structures.
Clay Shirky is one of the new culture’s wisest observers. He will argue that the dramatic improvement in our social tools makes our control over them much like steering a kayak; we are being pushed rapidly down a route largely determined by the technological environment.
We have a small degree of control over the spread of these tools, but that control does not extend to being able to reverse, stop, or even radically alter the direction we’re moving in.
The question now is therefore not whether the spread of these social tools is good or bad, but rather what the impact will be, for better or for worse.
This event was recorded on 3 February 2009 in the Old Theatre, Old Building Clay Shirky, one of the new culture’s wisest observers, steer us through the online social explosion and ask what happens when people are given the tools to work together, without needing traditional organisational structures. As online communication becomes ubiquitous, Shirky unpicks fundamental issues that are increasingly the source of much debate in particular in the media, in business, and in government, all of whom are grappling to make sense of the new social revolution. He argues that the conundrum is not whether the spread of these social tools is good or bad, but rather what the impact will be, for better or for worse.