I started working for the city paper in Atlanta in October, almost a year and a half ago. As we brace for layoffs, Clay Shirky has reminded me why these are such interesting times to be in, and especially to work for a newspaper.
We are watching the complete destruction of the print-based publishing world we all grew up in. The internet is doing to the printing press what the printing press did to hand-copying illuminated texts, and things are getting fascinating.
Working at a paper gives me a ringside seat. I sometimes morbidly joke that we're sipping martinis on the deck of the Titanic, watching the water and the great ship as she slides under the waves. But it's important to remember that this is not the death of Journalism. It's just the ruthless removal of all the artificial frictions of publishing. In the post-post-Gutenberg world, this is publishing. Already, almost a quarter of the earth's population has internet access, and could theoretically read this blog post. That's almost as crazy as the fact that about 60% of the earth's population has cell phone access, and could hit 10 or 15 buttons to call me and talk right now!
Crazy times… and exciting. Let's see where we go next!