Maria Popova on Changing Publishing Models

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“If you perceive the universe as being a universe of abundance, then it will be. If you think of the universe as one of scarcity, then it will be. … I always thought there was enough of everything to go around – that there are enough ideas in the universe and enough nourishment.” Milton Glaser

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An insightful 20 minute talk this from Maria Popova of Brain Pickings on changing models for publishing. Felix Salmon recently (and somewhat churlishly I thought) questioned whether Maria’s use of affiliate links conflicted with her intention to keep Brainpickings ad free, and her practice of using a tip jar to help fund the site. For what it’s worth, I see no problem at all with what Maria is doing, and think she is an amazing example of a new breed of professional blogger/curator who are adding enormous value to the web.

In her talk, Maria explores the continually tricky balance between editorial and commercial priorities, and the opportunity for content creators and journalists to build a following that creates commercial and creative potential beyond that which is aligned to the company they happen to be working for. Adam recently made a challenging point about how Google’s Author Rank threatened to atomise publishing brands into individual journalists. So the shifting balance that media organisations are having to negotiate is not only between editorial and commercial concerns, but that between the individual and the corporation. Fascinating times.

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