|The Internet Archive|
But the most important talk of the two days was Brian O'Leary's closing presentation, which prompted the Twitter backchannel to unanimously elect him the "Secretary-General of the United Nations of Publishing".
Here's his abstract:
Although business models have changed, publishers and their intermediaries continue to try to evolve their market roles in ways that typically follow the rules for “two-party, one-issue” negotiations. In an environment in which the negotiations are better framed using models for “many parties, many issues”, these more limited approaches have made the design of a flawed ecosystem even worse, shifting burdens onto valued intermediaries (libraries and booksellers, among others).O'Leary talked about the changes occurring in the entire ecosystem of what used to be called "publishing": authors, agents, publishers, distributors, retailers, libraries, and of course readers. He noted that relationships throughout the ecosystem were being renegotiated without an awareness of the effects of these changes on the rest of the ecosystem. As a result, frameworks, arrangements and processes that could benefit the entire ecosystem were not being given the consideration they deserve.
Content abundance, coupled with improvements in available technologies, gives us an opportunity to reshape the competitive framework. This talk will examine options to apply the principles of effective game design to create a set of new, targeted and evolving business models for content dissemination in an era of abundance.
|The future of EPUB|
According to O'Leary, we need to figure out ways to fund the sort of research that could be the basis of modeling for the reading ecosystem. One possibility would be to create a cross-industry organization to do so.
Update (10/31/11): The text of O'Leary's talk is posted here.)