“Blogging opens up instantaneous discourse with a group of like-minded thinkers. We all know of colleagues who post chapters-in-progress of their latest books on their blogs. Older proprietary ways of thinking would condemn this practice with the fear that your ideas would be swiped, brought quickly to the marketplace, rendering your efforts useless. On the contrary, what happens is the opposite. Like any twelve-step program alumnus knows: words are deeds. By showing your commitment to these ideas publicly, they are acknowledged by a given community as being yours. If it’s available to the whole world, then anyone trying to swipe your ideas will be outed by the public knowledge that you’re the one who has been working on this subject. Academic bloggers find that their community of readers often act as fact-checkers or engage the blogger in instantaneous debate over specific points before the book reaches the concretized state of print. Instant feedback on your work: does it get any better than that?”
Austin Kleon posted this entry (also see the fascinating statement about paper being radical, yes) pointing to a piece from 2005 Kenneth Goldsmith, If It Doesn’t Exist on the Internet, It Doesn’t Exist, with the preface that “The following statements are directed at academic production and should be considered in that context. This does not include painters, potters, printmakers, book artists or metal workers. Yet.” I agree for the most part, but this assumes (some 8 years ago now) that you and your work as an author have name recognition, that an audience is going to behave and your work is going to retain attribution, and you won’t get buried in a Google search by a more popular site that starts remixing and spinning your original ideas. I’m not saying any of this is bad, I’m all for total unfettered access whoa yea, but there are other issues to consider, perhaps an update or second edition of this article is in order.