To be affronted by the fact that the work I’ve done writing this blog will most likely not realize to any monetary return is a sad thought. However, it is a fact that Clay Shirkey (2002) suggests I should come to terms with. The blogging platforms on the internet such as WordPress and Tumblr give everyone else who has access to a computer and the internet the ability to publish. Publishing new ideas and work is no longer confined to those who have the money and credibility to publish. The legacy model of publishing has started to decline since the arrival of blogs. Many refer to this process as mass-amateurization.
Mass-amateurization does not mean the death of the publishing industry. Some of us still have a desire to have a physical book resting in our hands instead of reading a digital copy on the computer or on our tablet devices. There is a sense of satisfaction with holding a book or the morning paper instead of holding the cold plastic cover of your tablet. I think this will be one of the reasons for the continuation of the publishing industry.
I think one of the most important values that a book or newspaper or anything that is published on paper has is authenticity. On most cases information in books are correct. Information published on the internet may not always be accurate because any person is able to publish on the internet. This quality is also a reason for the continuation of the publishing industry. Take for example university assessments. Most lecturers encourage students to use books as part of their academic sources. I’ve heard this line many times “Remember, we still have books.” This emphasis on using books shows the credibility of written work.
The book will live, but as the younger generation arrives it may take on a smaller role in the publishing world. This shift in dynamics has already started. I often see parents give their 2-3 year old children a tablet to play to keep them occupied. Just take a look at the video below.
The next generation is growing up with an IPad and not a book in their hands. There was a dramatic rise in the sale of e-books last year. With technology being such an integral part of our lives, holding a newspaper or book may soon become a triviality that the older generations indulge on.
Shirkey, C 2002, Weblogs and the mass amateurization of publishing, Clay Shirkey’s writings about the Internet, October 3, viewed 13 September 2013, <http://shirky.com/writings/weblogs_publishing.html>
Cover Image: http://bit.ly/184MhbO