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OPINION AUGUST 28 , 2000
Talkin' Smack: The Road to Seybold

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Is there an answer? Yes. Stop promoting accountants to high positions in publishing companies. But that's not going to happen, at least not peaceably. Instead, maybe we could embark upon a campaign to rid the world's publishing companies of their executives by offering them better opportunities elsewhere.

"Say, Bob," you might say to your CEO, "I know a really great company where costs are minimal, you don't have to know what you're doing and you don't have a bunch of editors and designers whining all the time because you keep cutting their budgets and driving their magazines into the ground."

"Where is this place?" Bob will query.

And then you can pull out a very nice brochure you've had printed up detailing this or that company looking for a few run of the mill chief executive monkeys to keep the boardroom chairs moist once a week.

Maybe this is just a fantasy. I hate to think that publishing is permanently ruined. I do happen to like print, or at least what print can be at its best.

Anyway, I think I went off an a flashback-induced tangent. The point is, I'm going to Seybold, where I hope to see loads of new software designed for a fantasy world where publishers can take advantage of all the features these hard-working software developers put into their products. I'll probably also get a large dose of publishing executive jargon about building paradigms and value-adds for proactive Web models—basically print publishers pretending they know what they're doing on the Web. (Don't even get me started on that.)

O.K., that was another tangent. The whole point of this article is that I'm going to Seybold, and I'm taking my G4 with me, just as I did for the NAB show earlier this year. Why? I can't convince anyone in the office to buy me a PowerBook, and I refuse to bring a peecee notebook. On the positive side, the G4 does have handles, so, in a sense, it is portable. If only Viewsonic would add handles to its 19" CRTs....

So now I'm starting my own campaign to get myself a PowerBook. Maybe you can buy me one. Maybe you have a contact at Apple who could send me one. Maybe you're friends with a UPS guy from whose truck computer merchandise tends to fall. Be creative. At the very least, e-mail my boss, Lou, and tell that peecee user to buy me a PowerBook. Pretend you're an advertiser who will only take out an ad on Creative Mac if he does buy me one. That ought to convince him.

Thanks for your help!

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