Two themes from Adapt or Die

Okay so I’ve already slipped in the challenge but this Librarian needed sleep!

So here’s my post..

I went to a design industry event, Adapt or Die as part of the VIVID Festival and learnt stuff.

What did I learn?  Well, in addition to learning that designers swear more in presentations than librarians I was amazed about how surprisingly similar the issues facing the industry are. There were two themes which were very surprising: print vs online, technology and everything going digital.

Print vs Online

Both sides of this story were represented at the Forum with some romanticising print and others announcing its death (and if not its most definitely terminal illness). Bonnie Abbott, Editor of Desktop Magazine presented a side to the pro-print argument which I found interesting, its permanence. Unlike the online realm once you send a text to be printed it’s out of your control. In the online realm as the author you are constantly in the driver’s seat, you can edit, rejig or delete with ease. Spot a typo after you press publish it doesn’t really matter.

Bonnie described the difference as:

Digital whim vs print conviction

Whilst I wouldn’t go quite that far I definitely think, in my own experience, a lot more care is taken in print publication. I’m not a flimsy blogger who doesn’t take care in what they post but every blog post definitely didn’t get the 27 plus draft versions that a journal article gets. Whilst I’m not going to start making that many drafts for posts (that would definitely muck up the June challenge) but that ambivalence or any less care shouldn’t be taken with digital publishing. The world is online and will be moving there even further. If care isn’t taken in digital publishing the next world classics will be scarily similar to Emoji Dick ( To which my response is…


Technology and the digital takeover

A number of speakers at the conference spoke of the differing perspectives to technology. Whilst recognising the dystopian, there what a resounding message of practicality. Quoting Bob Greenberg, Andy Wright of R/GA  spoke of the necessity coming out of the other side of technological change because the industry and careers currently operate on a very simple equation:

Disruption = Creativity OR Death

It’s your choice what option of the equation you take. I was surprised that quite a few of the presenters spoke of the need to have more understanding of technology and html. So hey the Library and Information industry is up in that respect – we’ve embraced the digital challenge whole-heartedly! *virtual high five*



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