Publishing…What is it? What does it involve? or not involve?
To put it plainly, publishing is the act of making something public or generally known.
Sounds simple enough. However here’s the thing…today in the 21st century there is much more to publishing than meets the eye! Or the hands for that matter if before now you have been under the impression that publishing includes only that which is ‘printed’ like books, magazines, journals and newspapers.
The act of making things public has taken various forms throughout history from proclaiming (speech), to writing or drawing/painting, to printing and recording. Today however it is the digital revolution courtesy of the internet and new information technologies that has most radically changed how things are published or made public.
The digitising of information created an entirely new media field to be considered and conquered, and extended the publishing realm further than ever before in terms of:
- Who is publishing – amateurs or professionals, institutions or individuals
- What is being published – books and newspapers, eReaders or blogs
- The content being made public – news, personal opinion, public information or private details
- The time frame in which it happens – today publishing happens constantly up to the minute
- The platforms through which it happens – a multitude of platforms! print, online, social media, video, audio etc.
Today we can all be publishers.
‘The majority of us already participate in at least some sort of publishing process.‘ (Gerry McGovern, Content Critical, 2001)
In particular, take a look at the Social Media Landscape in 2012. The advent of social media a large factor allowing us all to be publishers today.
The debate continues on whether ‘everyone being a publisher’ is a good or a bad thing.
Some fears such as:
- the loss of quality information
- and over-saturation of information
Are at the top of the list.
These are legitimate issues, but ‘everyone being a publisher’ can also be viewed in a very positive light! We now have a more diverse media than EVER before, and for content creators this diversity can actually mean more opportunity. Today, there is more to publishing than meets the eye because it’s not just about making something ‘public’ anymore, as this has never been so easy. It’s the ‘way’ in which you do it, the content MEDIUM and reader VALUE that makes the difference.