Posted by: DrAlanRae | July 10, 2007

Publishers, GateKeepers and Web 2.0

Interesting discussion in Rome earlier this year. I was giving a talk on maximising internet performance to some publishers and the conversation turned to the role of the publisher in the new world of Web 2.0. I suggested that the first publishing house to help facilitated on-line publishing for non-traditional publishers might have a first mover’s advantage.

The response was in terms of quality control. One of the traditional publisher’s activities is to act as a gate keeper – to ensure that what is published has some quality and accuracy.In common with many people in their industry, they are concerned about the lack of standards in the quality of info on the web.

I suggested that the online world can to some extent be self policing -after all wikipedia seems to work quite well – particularly as areas of contention such as the Palestine-Israeli situation are clearly flagged as being – well contentious. What’s needed is peer review – not necessarily formally as with a scientific paper but the kind of thing that happens in an online social business network such as Ecademy. If someone posts bad advice they’ll get jumped on and the error will be corrected – sometimes quite vigorously.

So the role of the traditional publisher might be to find ways to sponsor and monetise a role as an honest broker or at least to maintain the forums where this type of informal peer review can occur.

What opinions do others have?




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