Deciphering Culture

How WordPress is changing publishing

with 8 comments

Interesting article on the effects of blogging (good & bad) on the way we publish (and the way we write, read…) and the questionable value of “democratizing” the role of the writer.

Reposted from Slate‘s Big Money blog:

The Son of Gutenberg. How WordPress changed the way we publish.

By Marion Maneker  — Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 – 7:47am

A year ago, Justin Halpern was an underemployed comedy writer who had to move back into his parents’ home in San Diego. Today, he’s got 1.4 million Twitter followers, the No. 1 book on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list, and a CBS sitcom starring William Shatner. All it took was writing down quotes from his father that he tweets out as “Shit My Dad Says.”

Technology and social media are redrawing the roadmap to authorial success. And for every Justin Halpern, there are 10,000 professional writers wondering how to turn blogs, microblogs, and Twitterfeeds into media empires, especially now that their magazines, newspapers, and media organizations are contracting at an alarming rate. Blogs, of course, are the first refuge for professional writers fleeing the withering establishment media, and for hordes of would-be scribes finding their own voice. For these multitudes, has become the 21st-century equivalent of Gutenberg’s printing press. (to read the rest, click here)


Written by Jeffrey Callen

July 2, 2010 at 10:20 am

8 Responses

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  1. i have read the rest on the son of gutenberg, but i don’t have any of the necessary profiles to answer there, and i’m sick of ‘creating profiles’.
    what i wanted to say is mainly on this post on my blog:

    you don’t actually need a ‘platform’ for a blog, any website can become a blog. i wouldn’t suck up so much on wordpress. what about their random ‘freshly pressing’ that make 5 minute stars? where can i find the criteria for their selection?

  2. Thanks for sharing this story. I love it when someone succeeds by leveraging technology.

    What I see happening, particularly in my own field, is that a lot of knowledge can be picked up from reading blogs. It’s not always as in-depth as a published piece, but it provides just enough information to give the reader the info he needs to decide if he needs more information or just to move on to something else. Readers have a lot of choices these days for the content they consume and blog posts seem to meet the requirements of a specific audience.

    The biggest challenge I see from my own efforts is trying to find an audience – and neither traditional or digital publishing has a magic wand that makes it easy for anyone.


    Mister Reiner

    July 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm

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