Tuesday, May 1, 2007

BoSacks Speaks Out: Positive News Only from BoSacks?

BoSacks Speaks Out: Positive News Only from BoSacks?

I received a letter from a reader who said that some of his friends have stopped reading BoSacks because of all the bad news. I wasn’t shocked at the note, but I was a little disappointed. I thought that my position was clear. I wrote back that I did not think that the industry is in death mode, nor has that ever been the intent of my coverage.

Indeed I am very upbeat about our industry, and I see a bright future for the industry and the people in it. But there are a few things that have to be stated. The industry is never going to be the way it was, it is not even going to be the way it is. But the stories I send out give my readers a chance to see how the future may bend, blend and hopefully offer a place of employment if they’re smart enough to read between the lines.

The industry is changing. So what? Do you find that depressing? I do not. Change is an elixir, and should be treated that way. The possibilities of information distribution in the next few years will be nothing less than staggering. Quite possibly we could be heading into the great, golden years of publishing. Is that a downer? Not in my book.

There are no age qualifiers on my web site when you sign up, so I’ll ask this question: What were you doing five years ago? If you were in the business, what were you doing ten years ago? Are you doing the same thing now that you were doing then? I doubt it. What do you think you will be doing ten years from now?

Our technology is growing geometrically. What used to take ten technologic years to advance now takes five, perhaps even less. My advice is to be very prepared to face the future with full frontal aggressiveness and make it your friend and not your combative enemy. If technology and the future are not your friend, you are fighting a battle you can not possibly win. Basically the future is here now; it is just not widely distributed yet.

Oh, yes and I might mention that I do try my hardest to find articles that are positive about our industry. It’s just that they are very few and far between. When I find them, I send them. I also think most negative articles are not fully understood by the authors and are written with a very limited perspective. But what I do send out is important to any one in the industry. Remember, this industry's future is your future. The world of publishing is not going to evaporate. I think it will grow and prosper, in fact, I guarantee it.

As I suggested to my reader, there are two options -- we can stick our heads in the ground in denial and hope that the industry problems will somehow go away, or do our very best to stay informed about the industry and grow with it. Information is our power. That is why I am bullish about the publishing industry. We own the content. I do not care how we distribute that content. Some of it will always be on dead trees and some will be distributed electronically. So what? Once writers needed quill pens to write. Many years later came fountain pens, and then typewriters. Now we have computers. Are my words, typed on a laptop and distributed by electrons, any less important because of the method of delivery? The reading of the written word is what is important, not the pathway to receiving them. The truth is they are more important when they are as fresh as possible and only a few electronic hours old.

1 comment:

Balint said...

Robert M. Sacks
The Profit Prophet

Finally I have a few moments to respond to your question of October, 2007 "Does the Next Generation Actually Read?" which you posed in Publishing Executive.

The one word answer is "Yes".

However they do not read useless words which still fill the gaps between ads and pretend to be of importance.

They want the information they need and they do not care whether it comes to them in leather bound, gold leaf, low acid content volume, which they physically have to access somewhere or visually in pictures or abbreviated in an IM. They can't waste their time with what the publishing industry habitually tries to pass off as important knowledge.

Their generation has to absorb about 10 times the knowledge we did and they have to do it in much shorter time. I like to compare our knowledge transfer industry (schools) as the most inefficient time spent in our lives. It is as if we tried to eat all we will need for the rest of our lives in the first 20 years. It does not work. They can no longer spend 20 years to learn all that we will need to know for the rest of our lives. Most of what the next generation will have to know has not even been invented yet. They will need access to knowledge instantly, whenever, and wherever they are.

I have just begun the 32nd year of publishing Futurific Leading Indicators. Part of the reason our very small circulation is reaching a new high every month is our formula for reporting news by:
eliminating all the unnecessary words to get the story across.
we also skip all self-serving, promotional verbiage that helps to fill news pages.
we make sure to eliminate all dead-on-arrival news items. These are items that are done with and have no impact of the future.
we do not promote any creed, politics or products.
we do not entertain, distract or create hype of any sort.

After this filtering we are left with bare facts that are organized in a logical format which continues and refines the picture we are presenting, month after month.

For these 32 years, our only agenda has been, and continues to be, to accurately forecast the future. It can be done . . . and somebody had to do it.

Hope this answers your question.

Keep asking why.

Yours for a better future,
Bálint Szent-Miklósy
Futurific Inc., Foundation for Optimism
KeyToNYC@aol.com 212/297-0502