You mixed my media. I like it.

September 19, 2011

Oooo, I just finished a super awesome book! If you’re a book reader like me, you know that there is no greater internal conflict than completing a book you adore. On the one hand, you’ve peaked with the apex and gracefully skated through the fall before a final love affair with the denouement. But you are also suffering the sadness of knowing your little tete-a-tete is now over. Personally, I’ve fallen so hard for some books that I’ve even visited physical locations mentioned in the novels many years later!

So, imagine my delight when, even though I had sadly tapped that last page (there’s not much page-turning on an iPad), I found accoutrements to continue the experience of this lovely story on my personalized Amazon webpage. There were a few wonderful discoveries that I feel would influence any of us looking to enrich an experience with mixed media and social technologies. And, don’t forget, creating a meeting or event is ultimately supposed to be creating an experience for an attendee, akin to the highs and lows of reading a great story.

First, the more obvious ones. After reading the story, I logged in to provide a basic 5-star rating. Then, reading some of the reviews, I felt

Love these guidelines for posting pictures...we should all abide by this!!

compelled to contribute my two bits and wrote my own review.  I even had the option to share some images, which makes me think I might just go visit a few New York landmarks mentioned in the book and share those pics on the site. Knowing that it will be at least 4-5 months before I find another story this great (seems to be the time frame for discovering good literature), I also warily browsed some of the suggested books to read – this is one of my most favorite trends around…personalization!

But what really caught my attention? I had the option to download a musical playlist from the book!!! How great that I can now lose myself in a daydream-infused haze of the stars of my novel, Kate Kontent and Tinker Grey, induced by a simple playlist that the author envisioned his players listening to! As is stated on Amazon, “While jazz is not central to the narrative of Rules of Civility, the music and its various formulations are an important component of the book’s backdrop.” Amor Towles himself lends his own opinion on why he chose these specific songs. It’s somehow more powerful than the usual online video or blog postings to think I can prolong the Civility experience down a long, quiet road by listening to this music assembled specifically for my just finished novel! Just that much closer of a connection to my new friends, Kate, Eve and Tinker.

I also love that there are discussion groups and at least four other ways to find books that might be interesting to me based on others’ reading lists, electronically highlighted items and more. Amazon, you have me hooked.

So, what can you do to add to the experience you are offering? Can you enrich your conference with a playlist of the closing party? Study the Amazon experience as a perfect example of how you can create a social experience around something as enjoyable (but not always considered social) as a good old book.

Oh, and this book? Rules of Civility. If you like intelligent and snappy stories, it’s for you.