Second Blog, Modes of Publishing

I find it very interesting how the different modes of publishing that are available today can have a huge effect on what is being published.

The concept of oral publishing before their was writing gave me a whole different perspective and understanding on the concept of publishing.

I liked the thought that whatever was published before writing was open to discussion and was not finite, and that the ability to speak and publish in an oral manner is innate within every human.

Publishing on the Internet deals with many of the problems that Socrates had with writing, such as it being unresponsive and having not being able to defend itself or engage in discussion.

Platforms such as Wikipedia and other collaborative writing pages are very responsive and have the ability to change what is published based on others being able to contribute to the texts and discuss their strengths and flaws. Comments sections and areas for people to report innaccuracies or biases make collaborative publishing online more open to the benefits of oral publishing.

Online and collaborative publishing are in stark contrast to what i have seen from looking at how work is scrutinized before being published by Pan Mcmillan or MIT Press.

These platforms for publishing work are very top-down controlled and have very strict and arbitrary guidelines that must be adhered to if a person wishes to get their work published.

In comparison to this, Youtube as a mode of publishing only requires people  to have an opinion and a computer and they may publish whatever they want and in a very powerful manner. I see this mode of publishing as being very challenging to the traditional structure of publishing, with the average person having far greater control on what they are able to make known.

This can be related to Gary Ulmer’s electracy and has large implications for the social. People are able to know and make known more than they have ever before and i think this is largely because of transformation in modes of publishing and the ease in which published material can be accessed.

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First Blog, E-reader and the Commons

After the first lecture of the course and my first attempt at deciphering the course outline I was feeling a little lost about this blog.

Although initially lost, as I progressed through the readings I felt as though I was slowly finding some direction.

I felt resonance with the concept of ‘commons’ when I first saw it in Wikipedia and I thought the idea of something universally owned and distributed had a sort of pleasantry about it. Published material is material that has gone through the process of being made available to others via some platform. As Wikipedia describes it, “the activity of making information available to the general public.” Once something is published it is made available to those who wish to access and has effectively been entered into the ‘cultural sphere.’

I do think there is inconsistencies between these two ideas though as people’s access to published items can be affected by things like money or education. Like the commons article on Wikipedia suggests, published information may be readily available on the internet but people must first pay a provider for access to the internet in order to gain part ownership of that information.

From the first lecture and readings i am also intrigued by the significance of the E-Reader and its potential effects on publishing.

The obvious effects of the E-reader on publishing that i can identify are things like the ubiquity of published material and the potential losses and gains in profitability for publishers.

I thought the article on idealog about E-Readers and the profitability of publishing had some poignant points.

The ease with which material may be published via E-Readers obviously reduces costs for publishers, but also has a huge potential to reduce profits for them as their publications are exposed to huge amounts of competition.

How ubiquitous published material may be come with the Internet and E-Readers as platforms made me think about the effect this could have on the relationship between the concepts of publishing and the ‘commons.’

If published material can be spread online over the internet, transferred onto E-Readers and easily make the transition across these platforms, then it may help in making published material more closely mirror the commons.

Although this does come with detrimental impacts for publishers and the sellers of information.

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