We owe a huge debt to Johannes Gutenberg. Here’s a guy who just wanted to wrestle publication of The Bible out of the hands of The Church and monks and unwittingly (perhaps) set the stage for blogging.
The movable type printing press revolutionized how information was disseminated. If you wanted to rail against the government, printing up a broadsheet didn’t mean you and a bunch of folks hand copying your treatise, you wrote it, set the type (with the aid of your friendly neighbourhood printer), and just stay up running off copies. Labour intensive, sure, but nothing like hand copying.
So let’s flash forward a few hundred years (about 570 years, actually) at publishing is at a cross roads, bloggers, who are very much like the rabble rousers printing up newspapers in times of political change, are making the folks printing on dead trees shudder, quake and worry. In fifteen short years, people sitting at computers publishing short missives to websites has changed how we consume news, what makes news, and discuss news.
I think Gutenberg would be stoked.
Regardless, in about an hour from now a group of us are going to gather at The Shebeen Club and discuss what new media means for old media…
Which, if you think about it, is pretty much the same way all revolutions got into swing, groups of liked minded folks gathering in pubs, bars, and coffee houses gathering to discuss what was going on (and then take those ideas to a printer to distribute in the morning).
I think tonight will be no different, with the exception that the world will know a lot faster.
So who’s with me in this new revolution?