Building a Better Web-based Book

CJ Rayhill (Safari Books Online), Travis Alber (Publicis Lifebrands Medicus / Digitas Health), Aaron Miller (ReadSocial), Liza Daly (Safari), Ben Vershbow (New York Public Library), Dave Gray (XPLANE)
Location: Broadway South (6th Floor) Level:
Average rating: **...
(2.67, 3 ratings)

Developing a digital reading interface raises social, aesthetic and
technical challenges. Panelists in this session will talk about
interface development (web-based vs. client-based), technical
decisions, community requirements and intellectual property issues.

CJ Rayhill

Safari Books Online

CJ was recently named SVP of Product Management and Technology for Safari Books Online (a joint venture between O’Reilly Media and Pearson Publishing). Previous to this recent move, CJ spent seven years as CIO of O’Reilly Media. CJ spent the majority of her career doing software development and technology management in the financial services and healthcare industries prior to joining O’Reilly in 2000. She has worked for Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Citibank, Travelers Insurance Company, Zenith Insurance and U.S. Healthworks. She is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, having attended Annapolis with the first-ever class of women in 1980 and served as a geophysics officer in the Navy. She also holds an MBA degree from the University of South Florida.

Photo of Travis Alber

Travis Alber

Publicis Lifebrands Medicus / Digitas Health

Travis is the co-founder of Her day-to-day role has been Chief Creative Officer, creating the look and feel for the website and the Unbound Reader, and managing marketing and communications. Prior to founding Travis was a creative director at She has eleven years of on-line experience, and has worked in web design, advertising, online training and education. Her client history includes: Cisco, Sprint, Playstation, Wells Fargo, Macys, Midway Games and Dodge. In addition, Travis has won a number of awards for her interactive art, and has been recognized by Drunken Boat, The Flash Forward Film Festival, and the Electronic Literature Organization. She has a Masters Degree in Interactive Multimedia.

Aaron Miller


Aaron Miller is the co-founder of His role is Chief Technical Officer, where he manages the architecture and development of the Unbound Reader, Catalog, website, and all widgets and APIs. He has eleven years experience working on-line; professionally he’s worked on both the creative and technical sides of projects—working at times as a writer and designer and at others a developer in San Francisco and LA. His clients include Wells Fargo, Organic, and Driving Media. Aaron has a Master’s Degree in Interactive Multimedia and an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Irvine.

Photo of Liza Daly

Liza Daly


Liza Daly is the CTO at Safari, where professionals go to learn the technology, business, and leadership skills they need to have a remarkable career. Liza came to Safari via an acquisition of her digital publishing companies and was given a mandate to build a modern engineering team to transform the business. She has been a software engineer, entrepreneur, and technical manager at both startups and larger organizations. She’s made her home and career in the Boston area and is active in the digital art and open source communities.

Photo of Ben Vershbow

Ben Vershbow

New York Public Library

Ben Vershbow works on digital publications and online reading
interfaces at the New York Public Library. Before coming to NYPL, Ben
spent over three years at the Institute for the Future of the Book, a
small Brooklyn-based think tank dedicated to exploring the future of
reading, writing and publishing in the digital age. At the Institute,
Ben collaborated with authors on a series of “networked book”
experiments investigating new methods for writing and building
community around web-based texts.

Photo of Dave Gray

Dave Gray


Dave Gray is the founder and chairman of XPLANE, the visual thinking company. Founded in 1993, XPLANE has grown to be the world’s leading consulting and design firm focused on information-driven communications. Dave spends his time researching and writing about visual business, as well as speaking, coaching, and delivering workshops to educators, corporate clients, and the public. He is also a founding member of VizThink, an international community of visual thinkers.

  • Impelsys Inc.
  • Ingram Industries
  • oXygen XML Editor
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • codeMantra
  • Connotate
  • DPCI
  • Innodata Isogen, Inc.
  • LibreDigital
  • Lulu
  • Malloy
  • Mark Logic
  • Media Services Group
  • Quark, Inc.
  • ReadHowYouWant
  • RSuite
  • Safari Books Online
  • Smashwords, Inc.
  • Sterling Commerce
  • Verso Digital

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at

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