Dispelling Web Misconceptions in Syracuse

The Syracuse University chapter of Ed2010 waited patiently as my adventure to Upstate NY unraveled.

April 29, 2011: This image of a smiling me surrounded by beautiful women was not how I pictured my day ending. What’s the old saying? It’s not the destination, but the journey? Well, in this case it was certainly the destination. For future reference, when driving to a place is faster than the entire turmoil of attempting to fly, just drive there.

Waking up at the crack of dawn to make a 10:30 flight out of JFK, only to have that flight sit on the tarmac for an hour and a half before taking off due to computer problems. Getting stuck in the rarity that is Syracuse traffic thanks to some Mayfair celebrations. Awkwardly debating the end of the world, biblical numerology and the fact that, despite my birthday having repeated nines and sixes in it, I am really not satanic with a very talkative cabby. All of this lead to my appearance nearly not happening.

Sweating, anxious and just a little outta breath from the long walk thru the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, I took my seat in front of the room and eased my way into my talk. My friend, writer Patty Hodapp invited me up to speak with a small group of students at Syracuse University. Like my recent talk at NYU, this one would focus mainly on dispelling widely embraced misconceptions about publishing on the web.

Unlike the group at NYU, these were young students, not seasoned professionals. Presented by the Syracuse chapter of Ed2010; a group dedicated to helping people taking those early steps toward their careers. The bulk of my talk was the same, but it was the q&a portion that differed greatly. The questions here seemed more poignant as they were coming from those just about to start out into the wild world of publishing. Questions that spoke not only to their curiosity about the web, but to their fears of print publishing’s future.

“Please don’t tell us print publishing is dead.”

Print may be sick, but publishing is far from dead. As I’ve tried to tell my own publishers over the years, don’t fear the future. Paper will eventually go away. It is many years from happening, but it will happen. However, it will be replaced by web, digital, apps, etc. And all of those still need editors, writers, designers, producers, etc.

So I hope that, if they took anything away from my talk, it was that I love the process of publishing. Sure, my battles with the print industry’s fears and defensiveness have at times worn on me, but the the creation and propagation if information will forever fascinate me.

Of course, my talk had it’s share of more practical, less esoteric advice for the students. I continued to burst the SEO bubble and tear away at the other misconceptions of web publishing. For some of the points from that day, check out the Syracuse Ed2010 website.

Despite a rocky and trying start to the day, that smile on my face in the end was genuine. This was a real treat for me. I’m truly thankful for Patty Hodapp for setting this up.

Wanna learn more? Wanna hire me? Wanna challenge my ideas? Contact me.

See Also:
Syracuse Ed2010
Syracuse University
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Patty Hodapp

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