O'Reilly shutters Tools of Change

Tools of Change, one of publishing's premier digital conference programmes, first launched in 2006, has been unexpectedly shut by its owner Tim O'Reilly.

O'Reilly, who founded computer and technology specialist O'Reilly Media in 1986, announced the move last night (2nd May) on the TOC blog, writing that the company was "retiring both the TOC conference and the TOC blog" after "realising a conference was no longer the best vehicle for us to contribute to publishing¹s forward movement". TOC directors Kat Meyer and Joe Wikert were both made redundant.

TOC last ran its flagship conference TOC New York from 12th to 14th February, with over 1,000 attendees. In addition to the New York event, it had also run conferences at the Bologna and Frankfurt book fairs, and one-off "mini-TOCs" in various American cities.

A spokesman for FBF confirmed that the TOC Frankfurt event—which had been scheduled to take place on 8th October and was still taking bookings as of yesterday—would also be closed.

In his blog post, O'Reilly wrote: "'Digital publishing' is well on its way to simply being 'publishing,' and options for both publishers and readers continue to evolve and expand. Publishers are significantly more change-hardy than they were in 2006. And there are plenty of other events that are helping publishers keep up with new technology offerings in the space."

He also wrote that O'Reilly had been focussing on a building a collaborative writing, interactive online digital platform "code-named Atlas, and bringing that to fruition is central to our future plans. We believe it takes a big step towards fulfilling the promise of digital publishing. You¹ll be hearing much more about Atlas in the coming months".