One day in the not-so-distant past, Joe Wikert and I had a semi-heated Skype argument about the publishing topic du jour. I knew I wouldn’t win, but as I continued to make my case Joe suddenly interrupted with the prescient statement: “This would make for a great webcast!”
Maybe it was just a clever way of disarming me, and if so — it worked. But no sooner did we end our Skype chat then I was on Twitter, inquiring of my bookish-techy tweeps, “Would you be interested in such a webcast?” The answer was “yes.” Joe jumped into the tweet fray and suggested the topic for what will be our first in the TOC Debates: Amazon vs. Apple.
Joe valiantly (ahem) volunteered to take up the cause of Amazon and act as Team Bezos. But, who, pray tell would be brave enough to stand up for Apple? The most eloquent arguer one could hope for — Ms. Booksquare herself — Kassia Krozser stepped up to the challenge to represent Team Jobs.
So, what began as a disagreement between colleagues has blossomed into what we think might become the most fun you can have fighting at work: the TOC Debates.
As a bit of a preview, I offer a statement from each of the opponents (also available in audio form, above). As we say in Arizona, “Them’s fighting words …”
Joe Wikert (GM and Publisher, O’Reilly Media):
This will be like shooting fish in a barrel. When I said I’d like to see a debate about Amazon vs. Apple’s ebook platforms, and said I’d take the Amazon position, I never thought I’d find someone who would represent Apple! Shortly after that, Amazon announced their Kindle Cloud Reader initiative. Wow, yet another point for my case! I have loads of respect for Kassia Krozser, but she’s got her work cut out for her. I’m very much looking forward to the debate as well as addressing questions from the audience.
Kassia Krozser, (proprietress of Booksquare.com):
Joe may wish he chose the Apple side! I won’t deny that Amazon has many strengths, but they also have an amazing weakness: selective vision. The Kindle platform is based on an old, creaky format. Apple gets the web, and it gets the technology, hardware and software, that runs the web … which, we all know, will expand both our ability to read all kinds of books in digital format and our definition of a “book.”