Monday, July 06, 2009

Ready or Not, Here Digital Publishing Comes

I've been thinking about the reflections of two Facebook friends, who have been writing about the relationship between scholarship and the Internet and the fact that the practices of digital publishing are already here among people who read and write books about computational culture, with or without the participation of academic presses.

In "Anderson's Wiki-versy," Siva Vaidhyanathan writes about the borrowings of Wired editor Chris Anderson to create parts of Free: The Future of a Radical Price, which were revealed on a blog for the Virginia Quarterly Review. Vaidhyanathan is less concerned about what he calls another "moral panic" about textual poaching than he is about the fact that mainstream books that are cited by academics are becoming even less likely to contain notes as publishers embrace models that cut costs and appeal to the greatest common denominator in the reading public.

Ian Bogost takes a different approach in "Digital Objects: Speculative Realism and Digital Media," where he argues that it is the blog rather than the wiki that characterizes the main mode of thoughtful writing practice today. Bogost explains how philosopher Graham Harman takes part in lively philosophical exchanges online and how Google books and also serve as a kind of citation index to see who else out there might also be involved in the scholarly conversation.

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