The age of populist publishing

The age of populist publishing
: I’ve been saying to anyone who will listen that the tremendous potential of this blogging thing is that it brings the power of publishing — yes, quality publishing — into the hands of the people. More such tools will follow (photo, audio, video, collaboration, marketing tools, search tools… and they’ll all get slicker and easier, note the great new stuff coming from Movable Type). And more power will follow (witness the noise blogging is making in Iran; witness the worldwide spread of it).

Here’s Google CEO Eric Schmidt explaining (at last) the acquisition of Pyra in this context:

I believe that this notion of self-publishing, which is what Blogger and blogging are really about, is the next big wave of human communication. The last big wave was Web activity. Before that one it was e-mail. Instant messaging was an extension of e-mail, real-time e-mail.

The next step in general for information is the self-publishing part. If somebody takes the time to write something, having Google understand that is very important to that person. So if you view the world as one person at a time, getting that person, that author to understand that we value, we index, we search, and we care about their information is a very important part of our strategy….


  • Josef

    I don’t mean to be overly critical here, because I enjoy your site a great deal. But with all of your advocacy in behalf of blogging – particularly as a legitimate medium for “quality publishing” as you mention on this entry, how come your own site looks so ragged, simple and thrown together? The content is good, but isn’t presentation an important part of the package?

  • Fair criticism. Easy answer: I’m busy.
    New tools will bring better design tools with them (that’s promised with the new Movable Type). I simply don’t have the time to rework the template. And the truth is that blogs — as they exist today — are about the words, not the design. That will change, but not yet.

  • John Anderson

    MT takes in Neotony? Do they already have Ontology?

  • I think Jeff could improve his look just by picking better colors. ;-)

  • Josef

    Better colors and better fonts might go a long way without taking too much of your time.

  • Pyecraft

    Please stop attacking Jeff’s aesthetics, he’s stuck with them. Besides which, he’s far too busy unglueing from his esoteric past.

  • Simple is good. Do not diss simple.
    All-singing, all-dancing, fancy-layout, graphics-heavy websites are fine for enterprises that don’t expect you to have to read anything, that don’t expect you to reload the page, and that think you have all day to wait for the renderer to do its job. That is, they’re fine for sites that are, in fact, useless. (The average corporate website being a case in point.) Such designs are no good for blogs, however, because on blogs we actually want to read, rather than sit motionless and be stunned senseless by someone’s expertise at Branding and Image Creation.
    I’ve dropped more than one blog out of my rounds because its owner had a fit of insanity and decided Pretty and Professional-Looking was more important than Useful and Readable.

  • My site’s no more complex than Jeff’s.
    I love Jeff. Jeff’s the greatest. His color and font selections suck though. ;-)