February 11, 2008

TOC first impressions

Once again, O’Reilly’s TOC is exceeding my expectations. The morning keynotes really beat on the theme of community and social interaction; the idea that people want products that help them interact with each other, not with the product.

Our product helps individuals study the Bible, but in most cases the result of that study is sharing with others — through a sermon, a lesson, or personal interaction. The challenge for us is breaking down the wall between the personal study and the community interaction.

Maybe it’s time to re-think remote notes in the context of a more web-connected world. (Remote notes was an ahead-of-its-time feature that let users see each other’s notes in Logos Bible Software.)

The other surprise this morning was the number of useful little nuggets I got from other presentations. Buried in all the pronouncements on “how things are going to be different” are some “from the field” reports on actual successes and failures. I’ve gotten a few practical ideas already, and already talked to someone who’s tried (and succeeded!) with a new business model we’d considered but weren’t sure would work in electronic publishing: a “rent-to-own” model for content, bridging the low monthly cost of a subscription with the security of owning your own copy of the material.

I also appreciated Derek Powazek’s tip about rotating the display of “top items” instead of putting up a ranked list of “top stuff” that becomes self perpetuating.

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Comments

  1. Bob, your seminar was terrific! I gave it an A+!
    Lynne

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