IDPF DigiCon @ BEA - Thoughts of a Sketchnoter

May 26, 2016

IDPF DigiCon 2016 opened in Chicago at McCormick Place on May 10 - and Iris Amelia Febres (aka @epubpupil) covered the action-packed conference via a series of insightful sketchnotes and Twitter comments (#idpfdigicon) which gave those of us who weren't at the conference a terrific overview as proceedings progressed. Iris' sketches provided a snapshot of various presentations. The reports were met with interest and delight, leading to numerous retweets and shares across Twitter and beyond. 

IDPF Executive Director Bill McCoy opened the conference and thanked sponsors along with those who worked so hard to put it together:



The first speaker was Michael Tamblyn (Rakuten Kobo) who began with a seven year history of Kobo delivered in approximately seven seconds!  Discussing the concept of Revolution versus Evolution in publishing, he commented that the publishing industry did not experience quite the disruption in publishing that was expected with the evolution of ebooks and technology-rather, it was a half disruption.

Kobo, as a hardware and software company, engage in bookselling and book culture; every time a reader buys a book via Kobo, Kobo learns something about that reader, such as their likes and dislikes.

"As an e-commerce store, we have advantage. Every time someone buys a book, we arrange the store just for him... Selling the first book is the hardest, the next 100 are way easier" Tamblyn said. Interestingly Tamblyn identified that ebook adoption is being driven by 50-70-year-olds - the "Silver Foxes"- which was not necessarily a surprise but a very exciting market that does not have their whole reading lives stored as digital records. This presents a challenge for Kobo that they are ready to meet head on.


Michael Tamblyn, The Reader, the Retailer, and the End of the Beginning of Ebooks


Next was Sean Callahan (Senior manager, Content Marketing) of LinkedIn, who delivered a talk on Building a Data-Driven Business. He discussed the treasure trove of data that is available to marketeers these days, with mind-blowing numbers. One such tidbit: 2.5 quintillion bytes of data exists across the globe and 90% of that data has been created in the last two years.


Sean Callahan, Building a Data-Driven Business


Kent Anderson of Redlink and the Society of Scholarly Publishing fascinated the audience with insight on scholarly publishing, and how that particular segment has solved problems surrounding author identification, plagiarism, and more using established industry standards. 


Kent Anderson, PROBLEMS SOLVED: Surprising Solutions from the Scholarly Sphere


The keynote address was given by Sir Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and Director at the W3C titles Realizing the Vision of Publishing Technology Being Web Technology. Other tweeters were suitably excited at the prosepct of such an iconic figure speaking at DigiCon: conference attendee @v_clayssen went so far as to set up a live feed with Periscope.

Berners-Lee opened, "In 1989 I invented the Web, the Internet was invented in 1969, 20 years earlier." He continued to lay out his vision of publishing on the web: "As creators of content, we want to be able to do anything you can imagine". Berners-Lee, with Bill McCoy formally announced the possibility of a merger between IDPF and the W3C are discussing about the possibility of combining both organizations. For a copy of the full press release issued by IDPF and W3C please see here.


Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Realizing the Vision Publising Technology Being Web Technology (Side note: this was @epubpupil's most shared sketchnote of the conference, with nearly 40 retweets and shares, each!)


With this huge announcement it was time for a break - a busy first session at DigiCon 2016 and hard work for the artist. IDPF would like to thank Iris for her artistic interpretation of this part of the conference - an absolute triumph!