I just watched about as much as I could stand (not much) of a documentary called We Live In Public. It’s about internet pioneer and visionary Josh Harris. In 1989, he was a nobody researcher in New York. But he saw the Internet coming and capitalized on it. He was one of the young multimillionaires who hit it big before the locus of Internet power went to Silicon Valley and the west coast. It’s not that the documentary is particularly bad. It’s just that if they had a big point to make, it’s either out of date or they buried the lead the past the first half hour.
Here’s the deal: The future of books is digital. Arguably, the present of books is digital. After this Christmas, even more so because wow, are there ever going to be a lot of Nooks, Kindles, Sony Readers, iPads etc.,… unwrapped on the morning of December 25th!
We are all connected. What was once metaphorical is now electronic. We consume digitally, therefore we are. (That’s not all good, by the way. The planet will suffer and in turn, make us suffer for our rampant consumerism, but that’s another post. For a great documentary on that issue, check out How to Boil a Frog or take a look at this trailer.)
[MORE AFTER THE JUMP]
The point is, We Live in Public documents how one guy saw future possibilities and so stepped in to make them happen. What was once sagacious is now a mundane truism, the I-told-you-so stuff makes you feel bad if you happened to be around at the birth of the Internet and are still poor.
The technology has changed again. And yet, there are the still modern-day Luddites. I recently connected with a bunch of editors on Linked In. Good folks. Smart, interesting people all…but that doesn’t mean they are like-minded. I ran into some people who were disparaging Twitter as a marketing source. They intoned sagely about the Law of Diminishing Returns kicking in.
I’ve already blogged about the proper use of Twitter, so I won’t pound away on it here. However, there was a general sense from some that they were being dragged screaming into the present. No matter how hard opportunities pull, some people want to resist the allure precisely because it’s the shiny new thing. It’s a knee-jerk contrarianism that won’t serve them considering what they say they want to achieve. (For instance, yes, studies say you catch more edits if you edit hard copy on dead trees. Too bad. Adapt. Learn to edit the pixellated stuff. The efficiency lost in editing websites on paper isn’t worth it.) Still, their knuckles are white as they cling to Future’s door frame no matter how hard possibilities pull.
Yesterday a friend complimented me on the many useful writing and publishing links on this blog. (Insert smile of pride here.) I take the curation of useful information very seriously here. And where do I find all those great links? Mostly from Twitter because it pushes information to me that I wouldn’t necessarily think to find on a search engine. Also, some links wouldn’t be in the first few pages of a search term I’d think to use.
The people I follow, the living and breathing humans behind those Twitter avatars, are sending me links all the time and I’m boiling down what I find into the elixir I find most intriguing and useful for my readers. Some of those readers will be authors some day, either published traditionally or self-published. They have websites that need editing. They’ll need my help beyond the information I provide here. I’m ready.
But, the foot-draggers object, is all this translating into present-day moolah? Nope. Not yet. I’m working fairly steadily on my freelance gigs and expanding my sphere of influence. When I worked in publishing in Toronto I had to meet people in person to do that.
Now I’m reaching out from my office in a house that’s much cheaper than what it would cost t in T.O. My kids go to a great school and I feel well-placed and cozy here by the wood stove and the warm glow of the world through my screen, reaching through my keyboard. I’m building my brand (and things have really taken off lately as more people find Chazz Writes. Thank you if you’ve already spread the word!) I’ve had other blogs but this one hasn’t really been up long. It’s already delivering intangibles (i.e. My God, this is fun and instructive for me, too!) I’ve built it slower than I could have, but it’s a learning curve I’m climbing. I can see the top from here. I’m enjoying the view. This is going to be great!
I see the future.
I’m making it happen.
So, I’ve got passion and skills and a big dream…so what? Where’s the evidence?
Well, there’s this:
Filed under: Friday Publishing Advice Links, links, Twitter, Useful writing links