Publishers, curation and algorithms

This post is by Seth Godin from Seth's Blog

Publishers take two risks to bring new ideas to the world.

(And I’m talking about any middleperson–a gallerist, a TV network, a movie studio, a label–they’re all publishers).

One risk is the time and money spent attracting and supporting the creator/artist.

And the other risk is curatorial. They are risking the trust and attention of the audience by choosing THIS instead of THAT. If they develop a reputation for having good taste (in however the audience defines that) they earn more attention and trust and the benefit of the doubt.

The great publishers might not be famous (Motown was, and The New Yorker is) but they change the culture.

TED takes a risk when they put someone on the main stage or feature a video online. And a podcaster takes a risk when they choose a guest.

The artist gets two benefits. They get the benefit of being picked: cash, editing, the emotional solace of being selected and supported.

And they get the benefit of curation. They reach a scarce audience with help from an organization that’s good at that, and is willing to risk their permission asset to support the artist’s work.

The internet has pockets where all of this is intentionally undermined, often by organizations that adopt the mantle of publisher when it’s convenient.

The Long Tail is Chris Anderson’s term for a library with infinite shelf space, one where the rules of scarcity don’t apply in the same way. The internet platform doesn’t care how many different (Read more...)