Friday, September 03, 2010

Don't throw the book out with the social media

Seth Godin said recently of publishing and of books: “I like the people, but I can’t abide the long wait, the filters, the big push at launch, the nudging to get people to go to a store they don’t usually visit to buy something they don’t usually buy, to get them to pay for an idea in a form that’s hard to spread.”

I think he's missing the point. He's fallen in love with the glitter of immediacy. Books aren't an elegant way of spreading ideas. They are an elegant way of understanding ideas - in depth. They're a much more solitary and personal experience than social media. Social media is fast fun and flexible, but it's about grasping something now. If we only have social media we'll have a broad and shallow culture. They're curl-up-in-front-of-the-fire-on-a-peaceful-rainy-Sunday-afternoon. They're about creating a space in a busy world. They're about creating something that will last. Social media complements but can't replace the function of books. Did TV replace radio? People seek more ways to express themselves not less.

1 comment:

Mark said...

A very good point - well expressed.