lauren's life,

From the Printing Press to WordPress.

Publishing is such a broad concept, no matter where you look for an exact definition you will see that they vary. When you look at the Oxford English Dictionary publishing is defined as “the occupation or activity of preparing and issuing books, journals and other materials for sale” (“Publishing” def. 1). But when you look at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition for the transitive verb that is to publish you get a broader insight to publishing with the explanation “to make generally known” (“Publish” def. 1 a). Although they make perfect sense these definitions do not explain modern publishing. So I went to a more modern source, dictionary.com, to see what it had to say. The definition I got from there is more easily applicable to us today, “to issue (printed or otherwise reproduced textual pr graphic material, computer software, etc.) forsale or distribution to the public.” (“Publish” def. 1). The final definition pertains more the the modern world of publishing that we live in now a days and explains the shift for the original textual publishing the first two refer to to what we consider publishing now. So after reading these three definitions of publishing is leaves you with the question, is something as simple as being a publishing student writing on a self-bought domain name considered publishing? Although it looks as though all these bloggers and content creators popped up over night researches who studied the Cambridge University Press in 1998 said that the concept of digital literacy is less of a shock but more something, that the telephone’s progession from a landline to a cellphone, that gradually developed into what we know it as today (Robinson & Taylor, 271).

The first thing that is very apparent when it comes to this shift into digital literacy is the use of other forms of medium to further assist the original piece. Before things such as blogging were around the closest you could get to another medium in text print was a book with several photos on the topic that was being stated. Now we have access to a world of new sites and sources to back up what we are writing about. So far gone are the days of text on text with maybe a black and white photograph to give the reader a depiction of the subject. Now there is the option to post audio about that, to link to YouTube, attach a widget so you can live tweet about the event the original article is questioning. Anyone who wishes to publish is no longer bound by the chains that is text, now we have the means to express ourselves outside of just the written word alone.

Another very important part of this shift is how easily accessible it now is to everyone. Looking back at when the only option was textual communication was the only media available it was very much a concept of one very lucky person putting their word out to many. Back more than 280 years ago when the printing press first came into our lives it was something the extremely wealthy and elite had access too (Ingersoll, 147). Although it is obvious that since those times became easier for people with lesser means to take part in the publication process it was not until the modern day with internet access did it flourish to this extent. This class is the perfect example of how with something as little as twenty dollars a simple university student can log on and gain access to their own domain, therefor giving them immediate access to start publishing whatever they so please. When you look at the concept of blogging is it very much a huge part of modern day publication and the fact that anyone can take part it in expands the world of technological literacy to new means. With such easy access it is no longer just something that is one wealthy, white man spreading his opinion but allows all to express their and lets their audience reply.”Through open dialogue using comments and track-back features, blogs open themselves up to dimensions of social support, friendship, and positive interaction, and blogging appears to improve an individual’s sense of satisfaction with their friendship and their sense of closeness with peers” (Baker & Moore, 1). This new form of two-way communication would not be possible if things our world now provides did not exist, such as laptops, and wifi.

Lastly one of the large aspects in the shift from textual to digital literacy is the attention it now commands from the average person. There is a small chance that a random person on the street has a house equipped with a full library that is seeping with information on all topics. But if you asked that same person if they have a reading list on their laptop, or any blogs bookmarked on their home computer, they would tell you yes. On top of that not only is their more interest in the blogging community now when it comes to readership but also more active bloggers out there than there will ever be authors. Things such as publishing classes in school show this. There are many of us that are happily willing to keep a blog up and running yet have little or no desire to ever write a piece that we wish to be published in a physical book. By running a simple blog you not only get to have your voice put onto the internet for millions to read but also, as I mentioned before, gives you the option of interpersonal communication that just is not possible through textual literacy. Studies show that the act of blogging support human engagement by supplying a comment section and the ability to share the link with other with the single click of a mouse (Brown & Duguid, 210). If one wanted to express a comment on concern on a piece before this modern age they would have to go out of their way to write a letter to the author, discover where it must be sent, and then proceed to sent it instead of just having to type a quick sentence and hit submit. This is one of the most important part of this shift because it opens everything up for discussion instead of the traditional sense that was simply a speaker and reader relationship.

There are a lot of different points that greatly affect the shift from textual to digital literacy and the world of blogging. This new age of publishing opens up the option of exploring new mediums, makes the overall act of publishing easily accessible to your everyday person, and gives amore personal relationship between the writer and their audience. All of these give anyone the option to take up blogging with little to no limitations and the freedom to do whatever they please compared to traditional publish that was restricted to an elite few.

 

Work Citied:

“Publishing” Oxford English Dictionary. Accessed October 21, 2013.

“Publish” Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Accessed OCtober 21, 2013.

Peter Robinson and Kevin Taylor. “Publishing on Electronic Textual Edition: The Case of the ‘The Wife of Bath’s Prologue on CD-ROM'”. Computer and the Humanities. Vol 33, No. 4. 1998: 271. Print

Earnest Ingersoll. “Our Earliest Printing Press”. Art & Life. Vol 11, No. 3. 1919: 147-150. Print.

Brown & Duguis. “Creation and Validation of the Personal Blogging Style Scale.” Cyber Psychology, Behaviour & Social Networking. Vol 14, Issue 6. 2011: 379-385.

Y-H Huang & Y-F Lo. “What Makes Blogging Attractive To Bloggers: A Case of College-level Constituency Users”. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Vol 28, Issue 3. 2012: 208-221.

A Little Review

I know I’m a tad bit late, and this shall be riddled among all of the other papers but better late than never to post a review on a fellow publishing student’s blog. I was given Caitlan’s blog. I guess I’ll comment on a few different sections; the style/setup, and then the content.

From first look I’m absolutely in love with the overall appearance of her blog. I may be a tad bias since I’m such a sucker for clean lines and black and white. I find it a lot easier to take in and to navigate around which is a massive selling point to me when it comes to reading (half of the time if I don’t like the first appearance I can’t even keep up with reading the content). On top of really enjoying her choice of theme, something a little less typical than a lot of student’s choice, I’m also a fan of how she set up pages/widgets. By having them sitting at the top of the page it makes it easy to get access to her instagram and tumblr without taking up the massive amount of room it would take to completely display the content which is the only option for so many widgets. The only thing about it that isn’t the greatest is the fact that it repeats itself right below it but I’m assuming that’s just something that’s mandatory with the theme and it most likely isn’t her choice.

Then there is the topic of the content. I don’t exactly know where to start since her blog is on everything, which can be both a pro and a con. Generally the blogs that I read are themed or focus on a specific topic so I never know exactly how to approach one that doesn’t have a focal point. But at the same time I also really like her blog for the point that there’s not a ton of direction. You get to see a lot more of her as a person and not just her opinions on one thing. This way you get to see a bit of her writing, taste in music, as well as her personal thoughts and style. Although I’m usually a fan of the orderly I do enjoy the way she sets up and titles her posts. They may not explain what the post is about but since the full article is displayed it doesn’t affect the content itself that is below it.

Overall I highly enjoy her blog. I feel as though the colour pallet and theme were catered to me with it’s neutral tones and clean lines. Then when it comes to the content I honestly do enjoy the content, although it’s skewed it’s very much her and you can tell which is nice. So that is all. I like it. End of story.

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