Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Value Of A Writer's Conference

Recently, I attended part of our RWA chapter Writer's Conference. My DH
and I usually do most of those thing together. He collects promotional
material to review and takes picture. I hate to admit it but the guy is
one sensational photographer. He can catch the best expressions on people.
Never have figured out how he does it. I guess he's just very good.

But - on to the value of the conference. I was presenting a workshop on
digital publishing and comparing it to print publishing. As I
prepared my talk I pondered the best way to begin when an idea
hit. Briefly, I decided to lay out the history of books and publishing
as a beginning, starting with the little monks copying the works of
the Bible and continued to modern day. Even my DH was impressed.

What struck me was the similarity of circumstances. The printing
press eventually introduced mass publications of the printed word to
the world. Today, the internet has introduced that same idea of mass
distribution of words to the digital world.

On Friday the iPad was released to the public so the concept of wireless
communication is pushed along with tremendous speed. Newspapers,
text books, magazines, all things requiring massive amounts of paper,
ink, time and personnel to produce were deminished with the release
of a small, pound and a half object capable of unlimited access to
the world of words.

The thought is staggering. What a fantastic world in which to live!
What else will the future bring? Since my life spans just the radio
for entertainment, the invention of television, space travel, computers,
(and of course I could go on and on) I can only speculate on what's
next. The value of the Conference was, at least for me, a stunning revelation.
What's new is sometimes very old in concept - the mass distribution
of ideas and the words to explain them. The monks started with their
tireless copying words of the Bible, Guttenberg did it with his
printing press and now the people involved in the developement and expansion
of the digital world have become part of the process. Unbelievable if
you spend time thinking about it.