The Approach Towards Universal Publishing

Denis Pelli (NYU professor of psychology and neuroscience) and Charles Bigelow (professor at RIT and graphic designer of, among other things, Wingdings) wrote in Seed Magazine about how the fraction of the world’s population who write and publish is increasing rapidly, with the endpoint of everyone being a publisher coming, suprisingly, in the next few years:

In our analysis, we considered an author’s text “published” if 100 or more people read it. (Reaching 100 people may seem inconsequential, but new-media messages are often re-broadcast by recipients, and then by their recipients, and so on. In this way, a message can “go viral,” reaching millions.) Extrapolation of the Twitter-author curve (the dashed line) predicts that every person will publish in 2013. That is the ceiling: 100 percent participation. Provided current growth continues, the prediction of imminence is robust. Increasing the stringency of the criterion for “publishing” from 100 to 1,000 readers would reduce new-media authorship tenfold, but merely delays the predicted 100 percent participation by a year under this model.

One Response to “The Approach Towards Universal Publishing”

  1. Josh Sunshine October 23, 2009 at 10:34 am Permalink

    Anyone who ever posts a message to facebook has published according to this definition. That’s a pretty stupid definition in my opinion. In addition, their prediction of 100% publishing seems a little outlandish considering that there is a non-trivial percentage of the population that can’t write at all. Including the very young (~7% of the US population is less than 5) and people suffering from severe cognitive disorders. I also think in 2013 there will still be a fairly large percentage of the elderly population who don’t use computers.