Last thoughts on Tools of Change conference

I went to TOC2008 to look for evidence of transliteracy in the publishing community. I found a little, but less than I would have liked. Across the two days the digital divide was always among us, visible on the bewildered faces of those who had come to try to gain a foothold on the slippery slopes of social media. But I also spoke with some inspirational people – marketing directors, editors, even an investment banker, who clearly got it and who were frustrated by the glacial speed at which the publishing world is becoming transliterate. I've written about a few of them in previous posts but I just want to mention two more – Tim O'Reilly, who despite his godhead status as father of Web 2.0 was around and involved the whole time, and Sophia Stuart, Mobile Director at Hearst magazines. Sophia, who is English but now living in the US, must be the most scary and impressive woman I've come across in a long time. She is not only seriously clever, but she certainly knows how to monetise transliteracy. And Tim O'Reilly – well, he's just quietly impressive. You can almost watch him think. Transliteracy is certainly alive and well in the land of O'Reilly.
But one last question – where were the literary agents? Or rather, where will they be in our new media future? Nobody seemed to have an answer to that.

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