Publishing has moved on

I’m going to talk about “content” for a minute. I’m going to define it as stuff I read. And what I realized is that going back to my earliest days of the web, I don’t consume content. I use it to support my writing, which is really an ongoing conversation with my friends.

In the final analysis we’re all media outlets now.

So my writing and thoughts (and yours as well) move from friend to friend through the social network, far from the original source of the story. Sources of stories that are shareable are preferable because I can weave them into my thoughts, display the context of my thinking, and minimize, in a shorthand kind of way, how much writing I need to do. And because linking is so important, a shareable amateur source is preferable to a professional source that requires me to pay, or worse, requires everyone to pay.

Someone who reports a car accident with a few cell snaps is doing a far better job than the person who picks up a report off the police blotter. Someone who visits the family and reports on how things are going is doing a far better job than someone who gets the “patient is stable” report from the hospital. What matters it turns out is not publishing, which has become easy at even a world wide level, but reporting, analysis, and story telling.

We should be talking about new models for employing reporters, photographers, authors, and story tellers of every sort, and not publishing. Publishing has already moved on…