Candidate Statement - Bill Kasdorf


Nomination for IDPF Board of Directors, November 2011 election

Bill Kasdorf - Apex CoVantage
I would love to have the opportunity to serve IDPF as a member of the Board of Directors. I believe I could make a significant contribution to the continued development of the organization itself as well as helping to further cultivate relationships with other organizations in various areas of publishing with whom we have common ground. I’d appreciate your vote.
While I have been a supporter of IDPF since it was formed, I have been particularly active in the past couple of years in the development of the EPUB 3.0 spec. As subgroup lead for the Metadata Subgroup, I helped guide the discussions that led to a significant expansion of the metadata capabilities of EPUB. That work happens to illustrate some of the strengths I’d bring to the IDPF Board in general.
--I have a very broad knowledge of many normally separate (even siloed) sides of publishing: trade, scholarly, textbook, journal, magazine, technical, and reference publishing; markup models, especially XML, ranging from XHTML to DocBook, NLM, TEI, DAISY, and others; metadata models from ONIX to MARC to PRISM; the use of XML in various aspects of the publishing workflow, from editing to typesetting to online to EPUB (and I won’t mention the non-EPUB eBook ones); the needs of authors, editors, publishers, distributors, librarians, and others throughout the supply chain; and a reality-based perspective based on direct experience with the evolution of the publishing landscape from before SGML was a gleam in Charles Goldfarb’s eye and Postscript/PDF was in John Warnock’s. (That experience is based on the work I did for over two decades in the context of my own publishing services firm, Impressions, which pioneered the use of SGML and XML in publishing workflows, and continues in my present role as Vice President of Apex Content Solutions, where I serve as a consultant helping publishers and others in the information landscape with XML modeling, workflow optimization, etc.—all of which keeps me very current about best practices and practical solutions.) This perspective enabled me to make sure that my EPUB subgroup saw all sides of issues and considered as many perspectives and points of view as possible in order to help make EPUB the most broadly applicable and generally useful standard possible. It will also enable me to help ensure that IDPF has as broad a perspective as possible.
--I have a heck of a network. I have been actively involved in many publishing industry organizations for many years, and have often taken leadership roles in them. I am Past President of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (an organization I’ve been deeply involved in for thirty years—a broad based organization comprising publishers large and small, book and journal and database, commercial and society and university press, plus vendors, librarians, and technologists); I am Chair of the Content Structure Committee and on the Governing Council of the BISG, the Book Industry Study Group (another very broad-based group serving the entire book supply chain, with special responsibility as the US custodian of the ONIX standard for book supply chain metadata and the BISAC subject categorization used in bookselling); I am Chair of the Mapping Committee and active member of the IDEAlliance nextPub Working Group, which is developing the standard XML source format for magazine content and the corresponding update to the widely used PRISM metadata standard (I served as liaison between nextPub and EPUB, recognizing that EPUB 3 will be one of the most important modes for delivery of magazine content in the future—nextPub is being deliberately developed to be in synch with EPUB 3); and I’m active on the eBook Special Interest Group of NISO, the National Information Standards Organization (which has a particularly strong presence in the library world). I know lots of folks in these various organizations and many other related ones (AAUP, the university press group; EDItEUR, the custodians of ONIX and other international standards; etc.). This enables me to bring in the right people to add particular insight as needed in the work I do. On the EPUB 3 Metadata Subgroup, I had a significant number of Invited Experts who I knew would bring expertise and perspective that the subgroup needed.
--I have long been a big advocate of standards and have good knowledge of the publishing standards landscape. While I’ve already mentioned a number of aspects of this, I also want to point out my knowledge of Identifiers and metadata standards, from ISBN and ISSN and DOI (all in common use, though all of which need to be better used in EPUBs and in general), to emerging standards like ISNI for public named identities and ISTC for textual works, to important metadata standards like ONIX, PRISM, MARC21, Dublin Core, XMP, and others.
--Now that I have thrown out a boatload of acronyms, I should say that I am also generally well known for my ability to convey technical information to non-technical people effectively. (So please overlook the preceding acronym blizzard.) I am the General Editor of the Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing, a major reference work published by Columbia University Press in 2003 (which, by the way, had an entire chapter devoted to eBooks and the then-new OEB, the predecessor to EPUB), and I’ve written and spoken widely over the years on XML, publishing workflows, and related subjects. I’ve been a frequent speaker for organizations such as IDPF, BISG, SSP, AAUP, O’Reilly TOC, NISO, STM (an international organization of Scientific, Technical, and Medical publishers), ALPSP (scholarly societies), AAP (commercial publishers), the Library of Congress, and the late great Seybold Seminars. (More acronyms!)
We have done a great thing in bringing EPUB 3 to the world of publishing. We have taken what was seen as a format for simple trade books and, in keeping with our mandate, created a format that will be essential to the dissemination of all types of publications, from trade books to textbooks, from journals to magazines, from cookbooks to technical manuals, from reference books to corporate documents, and that will be essential to everyone from publishers to authors to booksellers to librarians to students and teachers to technology and service providers. That’s a big scope. As a member of the IDPF Board, I will do my best to make sure folks in all those different areas are aware of, appreciate, and _understand_ EPUB 3. I will also do my best to make sure IDPF understands those different interest groups—their needs, their issues, their standards and practices. We are in a rich, complex, dynamic, highly integrated, interconnected, and interdependent world; we can’t afford to stay siloed. I am convinced that the IDPF and EPUB will be an essential hub that will enable us to establish connections between all sides of publishing, enable us to learn from each other, and enable us to take publishing to places none of us could get to on our own.
Thanks for considering me. I hope I’ll get your vote.

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