Re: Online Self-Archiving: Distinguishing the Optimal from the Optional

From: Arthur P. Smith <apsmith_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 14:27:49 -0500

By the way, Tim O'Reilly (of O'Reilly software book publishing fame) has
an interesting article up on very related issues in the book publishing
business (and music publishing, movies, and other forms):

Some quotes:
"Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than

"Many works linger in deserved obscurity, but so many more suffer simply
from the vast differential between supply and demand."

"Publishing is not a role that will be undone by any new technology,
since its existence is mandated by mathematics. Millions of buyers and
millions of sellers cannot find one another without one or more
middlemen who, like a kind of step-down transformer, segment the market
into more manageable pieces. In fact, there is usually a rich ecology of
middlemen. Publishers aggregate authors for retailers [or libraries].
Retailers aggregate customers for publishers. Wholesalers aggregate
small publishers for retailers and small retailers for publishers. [etc.]"

"In the Web's early days, rhetoric claimed that we faced an age of
disintermediation, that everyone could be his or her own publisher. But
before long, individual web site owners were paying others to help them
increase their visibility in Yahoo!, Google, and other search engines
(equivalent of Barnes & Noble and Borders for the Web), and Web authors
were happily writing for sites like AOL and MSN, or on the technology
side, Cnet, Slashdot, O'Reilly Network, and other Web publishers. [...]"

"[...] publishing isn't just about physical aggregation of product but
also requires an intangible aggregation and management of "reputation."
People go to Google or Yahoo!, Barnes & Noble or Borders, HMV, or
MediaPlay, because they believe that they will find what they want
there. And they seek out particular publishers, like Knopf or O'Reilly,
because we have built a track-record of trust in our ability to find
interesting topics and skilled authors."

"Free" is eventually replaced by a higher-quality paid service."
Received on Thu Dec 12 2002 - 19:27:49 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:46:46 GMT