You may know that the team behindrecently announced that we’ve started a new venture by the name of USPJA Publishing. That may not be the final name, btw, but it’s at least a working title and the name of the company.
So, do we need yet another publisher in this market? Hell, yeah! Well, hell yeah, if that publisher brings something new to the market, and I think we have the ideas to do just that.
If you remember Napster, chances are that you remember the rebellion that ensued over whether the recording companies had any future at all. CD sales have plummeted proving, if nothing else, that the delivery mechanism wasn’t following the needs of its customer base.
The reason, I suspect, is that focus on delivery mechanism. Selling CDs or DVDs or concert tickets can’t be the business model, because what is the real value is in the music and the experience. If a business focuses on how that content is delivered rather than the content itself, I think that the business will die out. Apple understood this with ITunes – Don’t sell CDs, sell music.
I foresee a future when the same applies to knowledge as well. Traditional publishers focus too much on selling books or DVDs or delivering class room training. When knowledge becomes just what’s in the book, businesses will fail.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the people at APress, for example. They took a chance with me when I pitched an idea for a book a couple of years ago and gave me a great amount of experience with writing. However, when I go to their site, the headline reads ‘Book for professionals by professionals’. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would I buy a book? It’s just dead trees with ink on them, or a series of zeroes and ones in the case of a PDF download.
What I want to buy is ‘Knowledge for professionals by professionals’.
Stop Talking Crap, Gimme The Juicy Bits!
USPJA Publishing has a different idea. We want to give you knowledge first. What delivery mechanisms will we have? Well, what makes most sense to you? If you want to read shorter bite-sized blog posts, we’ll give you that. If you want to get specific in-depth knowledge, perhaps you’d like to get that through videos, journals, web based articles, structured courses… If you want to get a Master’s degree in SharePoint Architecture, look no further. We’re there to give you knowledge, not paper or PDFs or MPEGs.
Oh, and we’re not just done with bringing you that knowledge to you from us, we want to engage you as well and learn from your knowledge. You know something, likely a whole lot. In fact, you’re the reigning champion of the world in being you, if nothing else.
We have already announced our author mentoring program. That program will being in some extremely skilled staff who will help you on a path to share your knowledge with the world. You’ll have the chance to learn from and teach to experienced authors and presenters to help both you and us grow.
How you approach that program is also up to you – you may want to make a career as a columnist in your own blog (or one of ours even). You may want a book deal for the nostalgia of it. You may want to present to huge audiences all over the world, either in person or in online lectures. Perhaps you want to teach at USPJA for all we know.
Really, we want to make that choice up to you, but we’ll be there to guide you along and help you avoid pitfalls, some of which have our faces engraved in the ‘wall of fame’.
In the end, we want to be about knowledge. That’s why I think we’ll make a difference.
To accomplish those goals, we’ll need a network and a community. Already, we’ve acquired SharePointMagazine.net, the SharePoint Beagle, and USP Journal, some of the largest and most respected content platforms in the industry. In addition, we have a thriving community among the students and faculty at the academy. I won’t talk about other stuff now, but there may or may not be other things we’re working to include.
If you like our ideas and thoughts, we’d love to hear from you. Whether you want to contribute content, want to join the author mentoring program, or simply want to get in touch to hear more, well, let us know, for example by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by getting in touch through any of our networks.
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