Re-Defining ‘Publishing’ In A Digital Era

Are you here with me in the Internet? Are you reading my blog and have tabs with Facebook and Twitter opened in the same time? Have you got used to it?  Can you leave without it? I can’t. The whole world has become so different in the last several years. You go to work or university, attending concert or visiting friends everything has it new digital meaning. Work is nothing without your email and you can’t miss visiting Moodle to check updates for classes. The World Wide Web has changed our life style and gave new life to some industries. Some of them will never be the same.  With the change of the industries some old definitions has changed as well and continue to change now.

The same situation is with publishing. If you look at the 80s publishing was connected with magazines, newspapers and books: all of them were forest destroyers and they were too heavy. The content was generated and edited by professional writers. You could receive feedback from the readers through the letter that was as well on the paper and mostly wrote by elderly ladies and gentlemen who had time for that. Time passes and in 90s appears the Internet: finally tree-huggers can be happy. People believed that Internet will help to reduce number of trees to be cut. However it hasn’t happened. Mostly it were posts that you have to search on your own or share through email with friends. Internet missed what we can’t leave without nowadays: share button and comment field. Without these two main features digital publishing can’t exist in the form we rely at the moment.

So main features of the digital publishing:

  1. Everyone can write it.
  2. It can be shared and promoted through different channels and especially social networks.
  3. You can fast and easily leave your own opinion about the content that can make the post more valuable.

So what is the definition of Digital Publishing? John Battelle defines it the following way: Publishing means connecting a community through the art and science of communication. It looks really nice but I think all in all the definition is a little bit vague. Firstly this can’t be called art because some posts can’t be called this way for sure. Secondly it is the dialogue between the author and readers who creates a community around him. I would go further and say that publishing is a tool that helps to create something new and communicate and gather together around this content.Now we understand the idea of publishing. I would like to go through several publishing ideas of new era for you to be sure that it has changed if you haven’t noticed before. To begin with I want to mention that there are two main experimenterswho are very active in the Internet. They are companies that are trying to promote their brand and magazines that want to find new ways of content’s presenting.

First example is connected with Volksvagen Polo and its project with the Russian digital magazine “Look at me” . They created several articles about student life in Europe. The projects name is TRENDDRIVERS BY VW POLO and it allows everyone to talk about their experiences, discover new places, share experiences and acquire new knowledge (according to Volkswagen ). This is the best example of how publishing is improving company communication with its future or existing customers and creates new content in the World Wide Web. On the other hand Digital is widely used offline as well. Augmented Reality has changed the way how paper magazine can be used. Playboy has used it in one of its editions (see the video ).

So there is a lot of new experience that just waits for us.

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About Blanc Tigre

Master in Digital Marketing Student. Write about new devices, amazing videos, style and everything that can engage me and the world.
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2 Responses to Re-Defining ‘Publishing’ In A Digital Era

  1. Tim Tucker says:

    I’m interested in your comment that it’s a ‘dialogue between author and readers that creates a community’. I’m not sure that’s right – there are communities which thrive without ‘authors’ in the sense discussed here. Instead they can promote general discussion between their members, for example see Gearslutz, a forum for sound engineers: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/

    This is a type of publishing, no? But certainly not in the traditional sense. This is why I like John Battelle’s definition, as it encompasses all these applications, from authored pieces to audience discussion.

    I suspect his definition won’t be the last word in publishing for the 21st century, though, as new technologies change our perception of what publishing can be in the future.

    • Blanc Tigre says:

      I understand what do you mean but by author I mean not just one person. There can be many people who are creating content and they can be represented as a community but even in this case number of people who are passively reading it are huge. Of that 10% or less that do contribute around 9% will participate occasionally, while the majority of content is generated by around 1% of those users. (http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/347-jakob-nielsen-s-tips-on-increasing-community-participation)
      I was talking about the author because even in the forum community there is a moderator who is taking care of what other write. So I wanted to show the following thought from Magazines Require Innovation, Experiments in Digital and Print: Very few people out there are producing quality stuff… role of a journalist to do editing and selection of it.

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