It has been two weeks today since the Shelton Interactive and Cave Henricks Books and Bytes event at SXSWi. I cannot thank Rusty Shelton enough for inviting, as it was an awesome gathering of talent and professionals in the publishing industry. Also, I have to give a shout out to the Iron Cactus for doing an excellent job of hosting the event.

In an industry where most relationships are started online, it is refreshing to experience a live event where you can rub shoulders with folks, share a drink and have conversations more than 140 characters at a time… I had the unique pleasure to meet the entire Shelton Interactive team, the founder of BookYap, reps from Publisher’s Weekly, West Publishing Group (part of the Perseus Group), some folks from Cave Henricks and of course the amazing writers on display at the event. I made connections with folks, putting names to faces and shaking their hands, leaving a lasting impression. This is something we, as human beings, have been doing since Adam, but for some reason I feel I need to remind myself and everyone else about the power of the well-planned event.

As we increasingly shift more of our attention over to 1.5 interactions* I strongly believe 1.0 interactions are not to be underestimated in their power and influence.

*1.5 is what I call our online interactions as they are now. Eventually I believe we will immerse ourselves even further, at which point it will be 2.0. Just to remain clear, 1.0 represents real-world interaction. If you don’t like my lingo, tough.

Just as YouTube cannot convey the sheer impact of a Blue Man Group concert, I believe the same can be said about a brand’s presence. Authors may be able to conduct virtual school visits, but getting to meet them in 1.0 means so much more. Julian Hector, illustrator of One Day is Monday as well as author/illustrator of The Gentleman Bug knows how important 1.0 presence is when both of the afore mentioned books topped the Austin Top 10 Best Sellers list after a regional SCBWI conference. Also, because many fellow authors and illustrators met him at the conference, many of them (including myself) are continuing our newfound relationship in 1.5 via Facebook and Twitter. I can also say the same thing about having met the incredible Arthur Levine (the author of One Day is Monday and head of the Scholastic imprint, Arthur A. Levine.) Having met both of these gentelmen, I am much more inclined to share that experience with my friends in 1.0 and 1.5, and I would not be surprised if some book sales are not a direct result.

At SXSWi, even Dane Cook, in an interview with Randi Zuckerberg, talked about how 1.0 has been very important to building his nearly 4 million facebook fanbase, making him one of the most popular facebook fanned commedians to date. He highlighted how he would connect with fans at his shows and events and then continue to connect with them in 1.5.