TOC RIP: Fare Thee Well, for Your Work is Done

In Tech Digest by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O’Reilly has decided to end his vanguard Tools of Change for Publishing conferences.

TOC RIP. O’Reilly is ending its popular Tools of Change conference program.

Seven years ago I was invited to attend the first gathering of O’Reilly’s Tools of Change conference in San Francisco. I missed it. And I missed the second one. Silly me. I heard they were fantastic events — intimate, and at the time, inimitable. In it’s third year, I caught it when the event moved to New York City. I must admit, at the time I was a bit awed and thought that much of what I saw at TOC sounded, well, like silly technobabble. But it’s interesting to note just how forward-thinking and influential TOC has been to our community.

Just listen to this quote from Bob Stein from TOC 2009:

In this brave new world, the key role of publishers “is to build and nurture vibrant communities for authors and tend to their readers.” They will be judged on their ability to “curate and build communities for their authors around their readers.”

Today, such thinking is commonplace; as little as five years ago, it still came as a bit of a shock.

It looks like “silly technobabble” has become part of our day-to-day dialogue and diction in the publishing industry. And with that, it becomes apparent that the work of TOC is done and O’Reilly has moved on, opting instead to focus its energy and effort on launching its proprietary Atlas publishing platform.

Fare thee well. Ye shall be remembered fondly.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.