Publishing and Business Make Sense Together
When the meeting at Cass Business School at City U had wrapped up, we collected our stuff and headed over to the British Telecom Building to meet with JP Rangaswami. I’ve been a fan of his blog, “Confused of Calcutta,” for close to a year now. He’s a thoughtful, intelligent man, well worth reading.
The hour we spent with JP was a high point of our trip. It’s hard not to be both impressed and honored when a busy man — one who’s about to a board transatlantic flight AND is in the throes of video recording corporate results — takes a relaxed hour for an American lady and her son.
We talked about blogging, culture, finance, and the Cluetrain manifesto. JP explained negotiation — relationship, conversation, then transaction — that is the Indian way of striking a deal. His face was delight and energy as he described it. I laughed with him as if we were involved in a friendly game of strategy.
When our conversation ended, JP not only showed us back to the street-level entry, he walked us outside to give directions to the Goldman Sachs building so that my son could the London office of his company. A mom could never have dreamed up a more elegant human role model for a son. I hope my son saw as much in JP as I did. The generosity of that hour is unforgettable. Thank you, JP.
As we parted, my son went in search of Goldman Sachs. I met up with Richard, a publishing friend, who would take us to Oxford.
Out to Oxford
We followed Richard through the tube to the train to Perrivale where we found his car and drove to Oxford. (There’s a reason folks call trips around the UK “journeys.”) He installed in a favorite English pub called Ball and Bat in a lovely room named after a cricket player. We had dinner with Richard’s wife in their thatched roof cottage in a village not far away. Later that night, we sat in the pub on the edges of a going away party for the manager, using the first real wifi. Each time someone heard I was from Chicago, I heard the name Al Capone.
The next morning found me with Richard at Brookes College of Oxford University. The first meeting was with Angus Phillips, the Director of The Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies. The Center is located in a brand new campus much changed since last I’d been there. Angus has a new book out in June, Inside Book Publishing. Angus, Richard, and I talked about the Oxford Publishing program. Then Richard and I moved off to a lunch meeting with the publishing staff. Lunch was a discussion with most of the academic staff and my friend, Richard, a visiting lecturer at the Centre.
We talked about social media and blogging — how the Internet is being used for business and community building, how communities form, how people are linked through content and context, the use of microblogging, cultural shifts that occur online, how writing changes from print to online, and online marketing and business models. Some thought the opportunity to turn blogs into books was where they should be looking. . . .
Oxford offers an MBA in Publishing and three publishing seminars for the business and publishing undergrad and graduate students each year. I was invited to speak and give a seminar next semester. We’re discussing the content now.
The question of the day was: How do you find time to blog and do other work too?
How would you answer that one?
More to come about UK universities. [Check back for my answer yesterday’s question from City U now.]
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!