Sunday, April 19, 2009

Food for Thought - Flamefest Aftermath

I ran across a real gem today. I haven't been able to forget what Christian said here:

http://christianusera.blogspot.com/

"Recently it's come to my attention that most within the publishing community can't take criticism. They can sure dish it, but when you question even one small thing about their practices or procedures - WATCH OUT. They will send all the loyal fans they can muster to come to their defense and decry the person dissenting. They even have minions to personally spy on your profile too. It'd be cute if it wasn't creepy."

That is a huge block of truth.

As I look back on the Friday Flame-fest (See: http://maryww.wordpress.com ) I see the pattern repeated over 100 times. Posts are almost word for word - it is group-think on a mind-boggling scale. The polite condensed version: "You don't know what you're talking about."

I am a systems analyst. I troubleshoot, diagnose and solve problems - there is always another way to do things. The short PC version is - There is more than one way to skin a computer.

Everything we do is under a magnifying glass 24/7. The slightest hiccup and the world comes to a screeching halt. Every day is a quest to tweak the process because the industry changed last night while you were sleeping.

Criticism?

You bet your hard drive – it never ends. Why? Because we have to change every day to stay alive in our industry. There is always someone younger, smarter and better educated in the latest software breathing down your neck. We even joke about it:

Q: "What do you call an IT tech who doesn't change everything (about the way they do business) every two years?"

A: "Unemployed."

Look what happened in the Detroit auto industry - the parts coming in were crap, therefore the cars were crap - so people looked for cars somewhere else. Japan measured the market, found people wanted quality cars - Toyota built the Camry and Detroit is still dying a slow death.

One day, my snarky friends, you and your venom will be sitting at the unemployment office with the Detroit Auto Industry Managers who said: "Nobody wants to buy a Toyota when they can own a Buick. I mean - sure we have quality problems - but we are making the cars that everyone WANTS to buy."

Does that sound familiar?

Anybody ever heard of Pokemon, manga, or anima? How much of that is produced in the USA, my dear snarky agent groupie? Do you know who the readers of tomorrow really are? Are they reading books, listening to books, or looking at graphic novels? (And likely reading them in Japanese, too.)

To all those people who said "this is the way publishing was, this is the way it is, this is the way it shall be, forever, amen." I say: "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."

The cut-throat world of technology is camped at your doorstep, kizaning your processes and about to rip the market out from under you.

Look at Amazon.com if you don't believe me. What do you think ABNA is? Market research. Authonomy.com? Market research.

We have a name for you people who dish out criticism by the buckets but can't take it: Bullies.

Take a big-girl pill and shut up.

6 comments:

CNU said...

Thanks for reading.

Some people just have issues I guess. I posted a response on that blog.


-C

Ink said...

Of course the people might actually be right about her... and she really might not know what she was talking about. She did have some interesting points (and I admired her chutzpah and graciousness while getting flamed), but some of them were pretty skewed. She's free to offer them up, but other writers are pretty to post and disagree (whether they're right or not). I just get annoyed by people who read an opinion and instead of engaging with the idea simply insult the person. Seems pointless. I do think the publishing industry has lots of problems... I just don't think they're the ones that she thinks they are.

And I live in Windsor, which is like Detroit's Canadian suburb! Well, economically, at least. If Chrysler takes a dive... well, I'll be living in a ghost town with tumbleweeds blowing through. Which will be, ah, bad for me and my business. Ick. Dumb automotive gentry. And intransigent unions.

Ms Kitty said...

Thanks for visiting guys.

FWIW - I bought a Chrysler PT Cruiser and I love that car. I've never ridden in any thing so comfortable in my life.

It's cute, comfortable and affordable, if they had come out with a car like that in the 70's, I'd have been all over it.

Ink said...

I have a PT Cruiser! Silver and shiny...

Ms Kitty said...

Ink, are you kidding? Mine is silver too! I couldn't resist it, it was so retro and so modern at the same time. AND comfortable!

Great minds and all that!

Ms Kitty said...

I've take a couple of days to settle down and think about this.

I can't help but think that the system is broken, exactly the way the auto industry was broken.

"We are overwhelmed trying to make the cars or print the books that people what to buy. But since readers are buying xxxx we have to make more if it and less of ZZZZ.

You can exchange xxxx for 'gas guzzler' 'SUV', 'blockbusters' or 'vampires' then exchange ZZZZ for 'quality small cars' 'Fuel efficent cars' or 'mid-list literature' or 'well written but not genre fiction.'

It all sounds the same to me.