by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jun 1st 2012 3:10am
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 10th 2012 8:10am
from the disruption-at-work dept
Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away. Because the word “publishing” means a cadre of professionals who are taking on the incredible difficulty and complexity and expense of making something public. That’s not a job anymore. That’s a button. There’s a button that says “publish,” and when you press it, it’s done.Now, of course, publishing as a profession means more than just making public, but that is the root of it, and Shirky is absolutely right that that role is changing completely -- and that means that the industries that built themselves up by glorifying their ability to be a gatekeeper in making things public are going to struggle to adapt. There certainly are other important roles, but they're not "publishing" per se.:
In ye olden times of 1997, it was difficult and expensive to make things public, and it was easy and cheap to keep things private. Privacy was the default setting. We had a class of people called publishers because it took special professional skill to make words and images visible to the public. Now it doesn’t take professional skills. It doesn’t take any skills. It takes a Wordpress install.
The question isn’t what happens to publishing — the entire category has been evacuated. The question is, what are the parent professions needed around writing? Publishing isn’t one of them. Editing, we need, desperately. Fact-checking, we need. For some kinds of long-form texts, we need designers. Will we have a movie-studio kind of setup, where you have one class of cinematographers over here and another class of art directors over there, and you hire them and put them together for different projects, or is all of that stuff going to be bundled under one roof? We don’t know yet. But the publishing apparatus is gone. Even if people want a physical artifact — pipe the PDF to a printing machine.When you think about it, this really does hit on the key point of disruption for so many of the industries we talk about today. The main role that the gatekeepers had was in helping to "make your work public." But that role isn't needed any more (nor is there any real gate any more). You can make anything public that you want and reach the entire world. Of course, there are still plenty of other things -- making it better, promoting it, monetizing it, etc. And all of those roles are very important, but the role of making something public was the only one that really had that gate. And since there was that gate, the gatekeeper could control everything and demand total ownership over the work. That's what we've seen for centuries.
The difference today is that the gates are gone, the need for help to make something public is gone, and those other things -- publicity, improving the product, monetizing, etc. -- can all be done by lots of organizations, rather than just a few. Thus, there is no need for gatekeepers, but (once again), it's all about the enablers. The enablers help make your work better, but still leave you and the work at the center. The gatekeepers stripped your work from you for a pittance. It's a very different world, but it's a much better world for creators -- and it all comes back to the fact that publishing is no longer a job, but a button.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jun 7th 2011 10:06pm
Newspapers Finally Realizing They Don't Have To Use Apple's High Priced Payment Offering, Or Locked Down App Store
from the hello,-html-5 dept
It may be limited right now, but more and more companies are going to recognize they don't need to go through the gatekeeper here. And as alternative means of distribution and discovery become more popular, the key advantage of the official App Store begin to fade away. I would imagine that over time, Apple may be forced to back down on some of its more ridiculous conditions and pricing, as more players realize that they don't have to go that route.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 1st 2008 12:51pm
from the are-you-scared-yet? dept
The second article isn't just about Google, but talks about how, with various online services, many people are effectively giving up their privacy. This is hardly a new topic, and it's one that's been discussed repeatedly -- often with a nod to the famous Scott McNealy quote from almost a decade ago: "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." The article touches on a lot more than just Google, but does mention the fact that Google seems to have access to all sorts of data that, when clumped together, could be seen as a violation of privacy for some.
Between the two stories, you can see why there's a growing sense of worry among some about how Google could become dangerous. It has access to all sorts of data about you -- and has the power to make decisions about what you can access, often with no explanation or recourse. Put that together, and you get this picture of Google as the benevolent dictator of the internet -- where it may be using its powers (mostly) for good, but there's plenty of potential that eventually it could turn evil. And, to some extent, it's worth highlighting these issues, so that people don't become complacent about Google's actions. But, there's an undercurrent to these stories that seem to miss out on a few things: if Google really does start abusing either of these "powers," unlike with a dictator, people have pretty easy choices to go elsewhere. Furthermore, as more concerns are raised about any potential abuse, people are rapidly working on technologies that solve both issues -- allowing people to surf the internet much more anonymously, while also routing around censorship. So, while it's not problematic to highlight these potential issues with Google, that doesn't mean that there aren't necessary checks and balances in place.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Aug 28th 2008 12:25am
from the how-does-this-benefit-anyone? dept
Still, it does make you wonder why Apple is bothering? All it seems to do is piss off people. It takes extra work and effort on Apple's part and it's hard to see who benefits. Plenty of other systems out there allow anyone to develop apps and content, and they get by just fine, often using user feedback systems to make sure that "bad" content and apps get weeded out fast, without any complaints from users. Having Apple set itself up as the ultimate gatekeeper isn't "censorship" -- it's just pointless.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Nov 2nd 2007 7:19pm
from the let's-try-this-again... dept
So, let's go to the details. Thankfully, the AP also published the full text of Curley's speech so we can dig into the details a bit. While the AP reporter's coverage of his speech definitely does capture the gist of it, it leaves out some of the key (and somewhat contradictory) details. So, while Curley says: "Our focus must be on becoming the very best at filling people’s 24-hour news needs. That's a huge shift from the we-know-best, gatekeeper thinking" his own plan doesn't seem to agree with that. He later says: "we're coupling those initiatives with strong new efforts to protect news web sites from unauthorized scraping through tighter site protocols and content tagging." Sorry, but it's those protections against scraping that is part of the gatekeeper thinking. He also says: "Enforcement, too, must be a part. What we do comes at great cost and sacrifice, even death. We believe content should have wide distribution. We intend to be compensated for it." and "We have the power to control how our content flows on the Web. We must use that power...." In other words, we're going to restrict access to what we do in order to create artificial scarcity in order to charge for it. Restricting access is what might also be called gatekeeping. It seems like Curley's big wake up call to newspaper execs is really "say goodbye to the old gatekeeper, and say hello to the new gatekeeper."
There are plenty of business models that make sense for the Associated Press, but it's pretty amusing for the CEO of that organization to call for getting rid of the old way of thinking and then outline what's basically the same old thinking.