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Written on May 19th, 2006 by | 4 Comments

Books are to Stone Tablets as Blogs are to Immediate Gratification

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“As for Blogs vs. Mainstream Meda there can be no comparison. It’s like trying to compare foreplay to immediate gratification (we’ll leave the rest up to your imagination).”


Jeff Jarvis wrote a tirade entitled (ding dong) “The Book is Dead”. He goes on to say: The problems with books are many: They are frozen in time without the means of being updated and corrected. They have no link to related knowledge, debates, and sources. They create, at best, a one-way relationship with a reader. They try to teach readers but don’t teach authors. They tend to be too damned long because they have to be long enough to be books. As David Weinberger taught me, they limit how knowledge can be found because they have to sit on a shelf under one address; there’s only way way to get to it. They are expensive to produce. They depend on scarce shelf space. They depend on blockbuster economics. They can’t afford to serve the real mass of niches. They are subject to gatekeepers’ whims. They aren’t searchable. They aren’t linkable. They have no metadata. They carry no conversation. They are thrown out when there’s no space for them anymore. Print is where words go to die.

We need to get over the book. And then we can reinvent it. That is true of newspapers. It’s true of book publishing as well. The knowledge that is there is, of course, invaluable. That is why we need to find new ways to gather and share and improve and preserve it.

Apparently he wrote this in response to a recent article in the New York Times by Kevin Kelly. Even ZDNet and O’Reilly picked up the ball.

I rather like my comment that I left on Jeff’s site the best (ok so I’m biased):

Quite a long post there Jeff. Perhaps it is the beginning of a new chapter for your up-and-coming book/thesis?

As a proud owner of thousands of books I can say with great passion that I love being surrounded by them in my beautiful black oak bookshelves.

But I must confess that every time I move I end up cursing them for breaking my back.

I certainly can’t argue with your logic with respect to searchability in electronic form. Perhaps that is the great divide? Books are for cosying up to the fireplace and the ‘puter is better at research.

But as for Blogs vs. MSM there is no comparison. It’s like trying to compare foreplay to immediate gratification (we’ll leave the rest up to your imagination ;-).

So what’s your preference? Books or the net? Or is there room enough for both?

Related links: instabloke, blog, weblog, blogging, writing, write, computers and internet, technology, tech, books

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There are 4 Comments so far to “Books are to Stone Tablets as Blogs are to Immediate Gratification”

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  1. I think there’s room for both. But I agree that the net will become (if it hasn’t already) the preferred choice for research and information gathering.

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  2. Heh, “immediate gratification”. You’re not referring to all those porn spam blogs are you. :)

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  3. Hello , I like your blog post expecially the article for blogging hosted preferred service and your post regarding re to Stone Tablets as Blogs are to Immediate Gratification | Blog Tips Tools and News - Blog Bloke dot com looks very interesting. Nice to share it with us. I found you on Yahoo while searching for blogging hosted preferred service . I just Digged it on Monday so will notice also an increase of blog traffic. Cheers

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  4. I think there is a difference between the long-form of books vs. the short article form of blogs. Books are usually written over the course of months or years and are hopefully the author’s best thoughts.

    However, now I’ve been reading books on my Kindle, which has the search functionality as well. I too see everything going digital.

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