Blogging, e-books, and social networks have all increased the speed at which we communicate—or, from a Luhmannian perspective, how we share our utterances with the communication. For DIY publishers, the Internet is an infinitely rich channel for publishing their own content and making it available to readers and consumers at exactly the same premises as previously professional channels. And that is awesome: the Internet has democratised the way we make available and publish our thought and ideas. Recently, I have become involved in a book on cybernetics and enterprise architecture. The book was initially thought to be available through a DIY publisher and furthermore freely available as an e-book. However, due to increasing interest from traditional publisher, the book will now be published through a traditional publication channel. To me, both opportunities are equally exciting.
However, the rapid speed of immediate “publication” comes at the cost of lack of modesty, patience, and maturity. Some people use blogs to quickly fabricate and churn out trivial variations on the same topic over and over and flood the public sphere with their own opinions in a synthetic, insubstantial manner. Proof-reading is completely unheard of; proper referencing to prior art and information sources is considered almost arcane. Blogging is supposed to be a quick, responsive medium. However, when people post entire book chapters or even book manuscripts through the same source and under the same preconditions, the form and shape of blogging have certainly moved in the wrong direction. The fundamental problem is that people with blogs tend to lack the modesty of traditional writers, academics, and publishers. For blogging “pracademics”, this is furthermore caused by the lack of patience for peer-reviewed publications. Preparing a good paper can take months before it is accepted and published. For the average blogger with lots of intentions, it is, of course, a lot easier to churn out one blog post after another with incoherent fragments of argumentation and structure. If post-modernism had a place in the history of literary shapes and forms, blogging would certainly be its most significant incarnation.
Writers, researchers, and bloggers alike must return to the tradition of when pages were sparse and publication a controlled, rigorous process requiring discipline and modesty. Only through modesty have the most purposeful, unique utterances, be they peer-reviewed publications or news items, been created.