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When the printed word is pressed for an answer to ‘blogging…

Wars have been won with the power of the written word, printed and disseminated amongst a populous to incite or excite in equal measure. So having read through another installment of SEO Book, a quote taken from Clay Shirky’s Fame vs Fortune: Micropayments and Free Content caught my eye by being as astonishing as it was ironic, sad and somewhat resigned in tone:

“Creators are not publishers, and putting the power to publish directly into their hands does not make them publishers. It makes them artists with printing presses. This matters because creative people crave attention in a way publishers do not. Prior to the internet, this didn’t make much difference. The expense of publishing and distributing printed material is too great for it to be given away freely and in unlimited quantities – even vanity press books come with a price tag. Now, however, a single individual can serve an audience in the hundreds of thousands, as a hobby, with nary a publisher in sight.”

The printing press is the perfect (and an amazingly ironic) example to give in respect to disruptive technology, since that’s what the printing press originally was – amazingly disruptive technology which allowed for the first time the layman to take a book of prayer in his hands and read it in his own tongue.

As mentioned yesterday in my article on the issue of Adobe versus Microsoft and how Macromedia had moved more quickly than Adobe towards the digital medium as a means of publication: “The foundations of what defined publishing were on the move, a move that began to encompass the web as a legitimate peer delivery platform for content.”

The south-bound M1 motorway in England leads directly into London, but not everyone who travels on that road wants to go there.

And to help sure up that analogy somewhat, not everyone who has access to an internet connection will start a ‘blog. Moreover, not everyone who starts a ‘blog will enjoy success.

For now, publishing is safe .. but that’s only for now. In time, things will inevitably change.

So, if ‘blogging is to be the future, then artists aren’t we all…

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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