How to roast a duck

I'm nearing the end of Day 1 at the extremely thought-provoking and wonderful O'Reilly Tools of Change conference, and I thought I'd post my top five challenging (scary?) 'take-aways' of the day:

  1. 40% of Internet users are tagging content on a daily basis - how many publishers are ensuring their content is taggable? (Stephen Abram, Information 3.0: Will publishers matter?)
  2. Did you know that the generation of digital natives, today's teenagers, read differently from you and I? Research shows that their eyes have developed to move across the 'page' completely differently. Are publishers tapped into this new generation and are we stucturing our content for them? (Stephen Abram, Information 3.0: Will publishers matter?)
  3. Today, it would take five years to read all the new scientific content produced online every 24 hours. Obscurity, not piracy, is the issue for publishers. (Bill Burger, Copyright in a new light)
  4. Encyclopedia Britannica experienced freefall in ten years, moving from a $650M business to a $50M business within the space of ten years, after challenges online first from Microsoft, and then, more dramatically, from Wikipedia. Could travel books be next, as Wikitravel and Wikitravel Press disrupts this space? (Bill Burger, Copyright in a new light)
  5. Content is not king. Context is not even king. Contact is king. As publishers are we developing a role creating the context, tools and 'excuses' for interactions around our content which give readers 'social currency'? (Douglas Rushkoff, Who's story is this, anyway? When readers become writers)

And finally, borrowing again from Stephen Abram's incredible talk, a quote which will become my mantra, for today at least:

"You have to sit by the side of a river for a *very* long time before a roast duck will fly into your mouth." (Guy Kawasaki)

I think this means get involved. Dive in. Or just get out now.

Postscript: George Walkley at Hachette is blogging on the conference too, posting his comprehensive notes from the sessions on his blog.