Getting it Right by Doing it Wrong

March 22, 2008

pacman google 

There has been a lot of coverage regarding successful companies like Google and Apple who have climbed the ladder of success using business models contrary to the traditionally proven models. Now that these companies are becoming more successful, other companies are beginning to emulate them, or are in the process of investigating how to become like them. A main component of this recent recognition stage is the documentation of these companies. Wired published an article on how Apple made it’s way to the top by breaking every rule. Siva Vaidhyanathan , media scholar at the Univeristy of Virginia, is in the process of writing a book called The Googlization of Everything. Also, Jeff Jarvis has recently been contracted to write a book about Google’s business strategy relating it to other businesses and industries, aptly named: WWGD – What Would Google Do? It is expected to be published next spring.

The method in which these publications are being or intended to be distributed is also relevant. Should the author choose methods analogous to the digital age which it is being written about, or by traditional paper-based methods? Jeff Jarvis is choosing to write his novel  book by taking and exploring topics covered in his blog, and getting as much input as possible from viewers. Using a discussioned based approach, Jarvis wishes to incorporate topics and comments which come about from this course of peer-review. Jarvis believes this approach will be more valuable to him, rather than posting finished chapters and asking for his readers’ reactions.

When the novel book is published, Jarvis intends to make it available solely in the form of a physical paper-based book. The writing process and development of the book will still be available on his blog. There was some commentary on his post announcing the contract, which believed that a PDF format release would be more appropriate to correspond to the material content, however Jarvis is opposed to this method of distribution. The reason why Jarvis is choosing to publish his book on paper, is that he wishes to “freeze-dry” the content of the digital age which he frequently discusses on his blog and thus make it available to an audience of readers who do not utilize his blog.

 With the rising popularity of publication moving online, will Jarvis’ book become lost amongst other innovative business model books? Unlikely. By incorporating a peer-aid writing process, Jarvis’ book will likely become a success. The comments on his contract announcement post were all offering positive congratulations and generous offers of help. Everyone seems to be in agreement with his book and wish to help join in the writing process, just as the peer process dictates.

So, should other authors take notice of methods which are being used to create works in the digital age? Yes! It will not only help ease the writing process itself spawning numerous ideas and topics which one author probably wouldn’t have given prior thought too, but it also opens up the potential to reach a larger market through increased distribution. The internet can reach more people than the bookstore down-street ever could!


6 Responses to “Getting it Right by Doing it Wrong”

  1. Jeff Jarvis Says:

    Thanks much for the attention and links. Just one thing: It’s not a novel (or at least I hope it won’t be seen as fiction!). Also, the publisher hasn’t decided what will go online when.

  2. Thanks for your comments. I hope you keep checking back to see how my writing is going.


  3. Tasia Says:

    Jeff: You’re welcome! I thought your announcement needed some attention on our student blog and qualified as a relevant topic to our course work. We recently discussed in class the entire Google phenomena and new methods of distributing written works usingthe web. Also, thanks for clarifying about the book and publisher, I made adjustments to my post 🙂

    Siva: Good luck with your writing, I hope your book is successful. Your website is a great resource for Google information, especially with the site bar topics. The title is so catchy! It’s sure to be a hit 🙂

  4. Katelyn Murnaghan Says:

    Tasia you always have catchy names for your blogs!! It makes me jealous!

  5. wattsy Says:

    that picture is pretty catchy up there too haha. I really agree with the last point you made about how the internet can reach so many more people than the bookstore down the street. Many people are connected to the internet around the world, which makes it much easier to reach people.

  6. Tasia Says:

    Katelyn: hahaha, just for you I’ll name my next post, “Jealous????” just kidding. But thanks! Sometimes I do get stumped and create rather drab names.

    Mitch: Thanks! The web is such a great tool to connect people together, especially in smaller places like PEI. Now we don’t have to pay 40$ to leave the island to buy stuff, it just comes to us. Along with all those annoying duty and shipping fees 😦

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