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September 16, 2008

Launching StartWithXML--O'Reilly Media Alert: Getting the Most out of XML--Connecting with Publishing Innovations

Sebastopol, CA—The enormous success of the Kindle and the iPhone has undeniably fueled the XML revolution. Smart publishers are scrambling to make more of what they produce--books, magazines, newspapers, and more--readily available for reading on these popular devices. Indeed, without XML, delivering content across multiple channels, devices, and digital formats profitably would be impossible.

To help publishers adjust to today's publishing environment, make better use of innovative, up-to-the-minute resources, and profit from the many new markets for their content, O'Reilly Media has teamed up with Idea Logical Company to launch StartWithXML: Why and How.

"StartWithXML will address the serious organizational and cultural issues that are in many ways even more challenging than the technology itself," explained Andrew Savikas, Director of Publishing Technology for O'Reilly and Program Chair for the Tools of Change for Publishing Conference. "Even the most tech savvy authors and editors are used to working with a printed book as their main objective, and their habits and processes reflect that."

Added Savikas: "Yet to get the most from XML (Extensible Markup Language), it must be viewed as much more than just a publishing tool or technology. A true XML workflow means creating, designing, and producing content with multiple outputs in mind from the start, not merely as an afterthought to something printed."

Indeed, Idea Logical CEO Mike Shatzkin echoed Savikas views when he announced the project recently at the annual meeting of the Book Industry Study Group, which is also providing support. Shatzkin said, "The 'StartWithXML' project will explore all the issues of moving to a StartWithXML workflow through interviews and case studies with publishers and with the channel partners they will be working with to reach new readers in new ways. We'll be looking at what benefits can come to a publisher today from working this way, and what important steps to the future are enabled for those doing this and cut off from those who don't."

The StartWithXML project includes:

  • An open online survey designed to capture the issues surrounding XML for publishers.
  • A one-day forum scheduled for Jan. 13, 2009 at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium in New York. Through panels and presentations, participants will spend the morning understanding XML, and the afternoon learning to use it effectively.
  • A research report covering background info, case studies, best practices, technology and vendor profiles, and interviews discussing the factors that make a "StartWithXML" workflow both useful and tricky.
  • An ongoing online conversation, with a blog, an open comments area for folks to weigh in on the report's outline while it's in progress, and a general discussion forum (built out as a group within the new TOC Community).

Mike Shatzkin will be blogging on the StartWithXML website, alongside veteran consultants Brian O'Leary, Ted Hill, and Laura Dawson, who are all participating in the research behind the project.

For more information about StartWithXML, see:
www.startwithxml.com or http://toc.oreilly.com/2008/09/startwithxml-why-and-how.html

For more information about Idea Logical, see:
http://www.idealog.com

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

About TOC
Driven by the Internet, technology is fundamentally transforming publishing. Creation, development, production, distribution, and consumption have all been touched by the changes and challenges that have accompanied the greatest shifts in publishing since the printing press. Which technologies are important? Which provide exciting business opportunities? And what are the strategic questions you need to consider in adopting new models?

O'Reilly's Tools of Change for Publishing division seeks to connect the people, companies, and organizations asking and answering the questions that will define the future of publishing. (TOC is a nod to the term publishing vets will recognize as referring to the Table of Contents of a book -- a deliberate choice signaling our intent to set the agenda for the future of publishing.)

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