Seemed like a good opportunity to christen by Branch invite.
And ... scene.
Yes, that feels more like a dictionary definition to me (or a Seth Godin-ism).
To me any true definition of publishing would include something about the desire to make your idea/IP/thoughts/feeeeeeelings heard by others.
Not exactly just making available but actively seeking to have it read (consumed) by other people for the purpose of eliciting a reaction.
Production is essential. Distribution is essential, I think. Promotion? I'm not sure, except insofar as it forwards distribution, which is essential. But Brett, to something you said on Twitter. I'm not sure there was "publishing" before the printing press. To make things interesting, in fact, I'll stipulate it. There was no "publishing" before the printing press.
You're wrong, Jim, I feel quite sure that some desert rat hammered out four or five copies of some crazy edict from the local honcho and handed out those four or five stones to tell more than one person the new order .. I would love to know if said desert rat called this "publishing" or just "a lot of work."
@Jim So Publish as a word in English: first use is 14th century. Printing Press is 15th. So the concept of this existed outside of and before use of the tool.
Not entirely sure we can associate fully with the machine. Also, many well known examples of literature exist from before that time. Which were written, distributed, etc. in various ways.
@Porter I think intention refers to something other than simply distribution. Intention, here, seems to be the existential "Other," meaning that it has to be for an audience, or the public. Then, there is the activity (and associated activities) or distribution with can only come after the published thing is complete.
Jim - in terms of individualism, we're saying the Enlightenment's dynamic gave rise to publishing?
Brett - probably all of those were restrictive elements from time to time and situation to situation. Plus sheer economics and relatively low runs (availability). And maybe even some BAD WRITING going on. ("Whoops, Gutenberg! You mean everybody can read this crap I just wrote??" )
Well, speaking of bad writing, take Dan Brown. Let's say the Illuminati "publish" a terribly subversive text guaranteed to blow up the Pope's corgi if it ever gets out. The "intention" is not to "distribute" because the Illums don't want everybody to be able to blow up the Pope's corgi. Only the Holy Nasties (the Illuminati) get to do that. So that is publishing with an intent to provide info but only within a tight circle of bad-movie personalities. Hence, that intention precludes distribution. But eventually prompts Dan Brown to write yet another appalling piece of crap that gets made into a film far more expensive than the Holy Father's air-conditioning bill.
It wasn't DRM, per se, because natural restrictions conveniently interceded in ways that supported power structures. DRM is perverse precisely because it seeks to outfit media with restrictions it does not actually have -- so that it resembles a previous medium on which a business model is based. (HarperCollins' 26-lend library books are the most striking example of this.)
Guy's not going to like it, but I'm getting that Shirky feeling that technological development runs in the direction of making "published" the default for all IP. (At which point, "publishing" -- as we know it -- is gone.)
So, Porter, what you're saying is that little has changed.
Though to your Papal allegory, I think small distro is still distro. The Illuminati Nasties still want to distribute the information to their own. The public can be limited, as is such in the case of the damning corgi evidenced above, but that has still not entirely precluded distribution.
Porter. On the individualism front, I'm just playing around with the idea. If the word "Publish" -- as in make public -- doesn't emerge until the 14th century, I think that's interesting, and perhaps prefigures an impulse that leads to the printing press, i.e. the very idea that something should be widely available.
On the Shirky front, no IP can be private and still be IP, but it will make less and less sense to withhold IP from publication -- while seeking a publisher, say -- rather than just putting it out there. In the case of Michelangelo, today David would be a YouTube video and it would be published whether MA got a commission or not.
But I've taken this thread way off track ...
Back to intention.
And ... scene.
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch