Writing for Love

Via Luis, a trail of bread crumbs leads to Paul Graham:

Actually, the fad is the word “blog,” at least the way the print media now use it. What they mean by “blogger” is not someone who publishes in a weblog format, but anyone who publishes online. That’s going to become a problem as the Web becomes the default medium for publication. So I’d like to suggest an alternative word for someone who publishes online. How about “writer?”

Those in the print media who dismiss the writing online because of its low average quality are missing an important point: no one reads the average blog. In the old world of channels, it meant something to talk about average quality, because that’s what you were getting whether you liked it or not. But now you can read any writer you want. So the average quality of writing online isn’t what the print media are competing against. They’re competing against the best writing online. And, like Microsoft, they’re losing.

I don’t think Graham is right that the web will become the default medium for publication. (See paper – fine technology.) But there is much more good writing out there, and all the good “amateur” stuff (in the best sense of the word in which Graham uses it) has a passion that we’ve got to match if we’re going to compete.

See the Duke City Fix for an example of what I mean.