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Unsere Referent*inne stellen sich vor: Niels ’t Hooft

Niels ’t Hooft referiert am Kongressfreitag zu „Pulling in readers with Social Reading“.

Our speakers introduce themselves: How would you describe yourself in a few sentences?
I’m an entrepreneur and author based in The Netherlands. My first business, started 25 years ago, was a publishing house of websites and magazines about videogames. This made me discover that I really like to write, which led to writing novels and even storylines for videogames. One of my novels was translated to German: Toiletten, published by Reclam Leipzig. It seems like a million years ago! For the past decade, I’ve focused on improving how text is displayed on (small) screens, to make reading books on them a better experience. This led to the founding of Immer Systems in 2020. Last year we launched the Immer Reading System, a software development kit that allows companies and organizations to offer our much better way of digital reading to their users.

What do you want to achieve with your contribution at future!publish 2024?
I’m giving a talk about social reading on Friday at 13.30, in Room 2. Social features are, many people would agree, a key way to bring reading to the 21st century – engaging readers more by letting them do it together. But there are various ways to implement such features. Many companies have tried and failed in the past. I aim to give an overview of these attempts, different ways to go about it, and give some recommendations on what works best. I hope that audience members come away with a better understanding of social reading, and feel a little more confident at potentially launching a social reading product themselves.

What tip do you have for keeping cool during a busy day at work?
I’m a big believer of “doing more by doing less”. Especially in stressful times when deadlines are looming, it’s a trap to think everything has to be done as soon as possible. Priorities blend together and all your tasks become one big amorphous blob that threatens your existence. In reality, not everything has the same level of importance. So my trick is to each day pick the one thing that makes the biggest difference, and go deep on it: spend as much time as needed. Go all-out preparing that important meeting. Do a great job on that one document. Test that new software with care. If you consistently do the one thing that truly matters and knock it out of the park, you’ll be amazed by how much will be done by the end of even a single week. (I also find that this approach helps spur on my energy, and will make me more capable of quickly doing smaller tasks inbetween, even if I hadn’t planned for them.)

Is there anything else that the conference participants should definitely know about you?
My German language skills are terrible, I wasn’t paying enough attention in high school. When listening to a lecture, I will be able to make out most of it, but in conversation I’ll just move to English. Hope you don’t mind!