Playing with fire

This thread on self-publishing is taking on a life of its own. It merits a post to bookmark this moment for posterity. This discussion on self-publishing demonstrate the self-organizing aspects of the blogosphere.

Here is the cycle in a nutshell:

An idea is expressed in the blogosphere and it
generated ripples of interest and comments which cause further eddies of related
activity (people commenting about the topic to others).

The topic then attracts people with specialized expertise who
contribute their knowledge to the conversation in order to provide a
better understanding of the boundaries and potentials of the initial
idea. (They do this for personal gratification, not personal gain.)

aspects of the topic suggest commercial and marketing potentials to
those people who convert ideas into money flows, and the race is on to
develop a working business while a market window exists.

We have here on this weblog, and in this thread, the pattern of technological change which brings about new businesses and industries. We have a creative commons of pooled knowledge about self-publishing which gains value with every added comment. Blogging is truly magical because we create value by communicating!

I started a thread about the current state of self-publishing. Others joined in to express interest. The
conversation attracted those who have expertise in the area and quickly became more than an exchange
of viewpoints.

Within hours we had moved into a discussion of the role POD (Print on Demand) plays
in the spectrum of self-publishing and started
accumulating information on the readability of ragged right
versus fully justified copy. At that point, this thread started becoming a useful resource for future self-publishers. There is still more to come.

The thread will eventually attract the interest of people who have valuable ideas but who couldn’t get published in the cold and unfriendly world of traditional publishing. These unpublished J. K. Rowlings and Grishams may decide to create their own path to customers and ignore the barricades set up by traditional, and struggling, publishing houses. They will publish their book and a new saga will begin.

This cycle will repeat endlessly, as long as a free blogosphere continues to exist. If there are topics of general interest related to solving problems, a new set of business relationships will arise almost spontaneously from the ensuing discussion.

This cycle is not new. This kind of round-robin discussion was going on long before the Pyramids were being built. The power of weblogs has merely put an afterburner on the process, so that industries are conceived and initiated in weeks, instead of years.

When we engage in blogging, we are playing with fire. We are harnessing the power of open communication in ways which will shape our future in ways we can’t even imagine.

To drive this point home, you should realize when  we blog about something, we actually change our future in respect to that area on the fly. Now, if that isn’t that a sobering thought, what is?

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