Independents and Innovators

Whilst pornography, blogging, consumer sites and adverts of every shape and size take up the majority of the Internet, there is an increasing amount of space that is starting to be used for creative purposes.

Quite like the nanopublishing phenomenon, similar online communities are being created yet they are populated by writers and are dedicated to art and creative literature.

These online communities are bringing together writers and readers of all genres.

The organisations are non-profit and are produced solely for cultural purposes.


Most are developed in an e-zine/ online magazine style with monthly/quarterly issues or volumes.



Advantages of online writing communities


Free publication for writers/artists.

• Writers and artists can get their work out into the public eye for free.


Increase of writing/reading niches provided for.

• There are heaps of different writing communities/e-zines out there, especially those directed at particular genres/reader groups. For example: Blithe.com: which is specifically for homosexual and transgender writers and readers.

• Can supply to all niches, especially interest groups that are not provided for elsewhere.

• Can provide for all art and literature forms such as poems, prose, video art, web art, sound, fiction, non-fiction, reviews, etc.

Provides an online workshop for writers and readers globally, allowing writers/artists to work off each other’s ideas and collaborate on works.

• Also provides information and links about artists. – Free publicity.


“Together, writers from different cultures and artistic practices explore regional and national work, learning from and inspiring each other in a cross-pollination of ideas and concepts that generates fascinating new literary forms”.

Creates an increased range of free literature and writing for readers. In contemporary life, it may be simpler than flicking through magazines or browsing book shops or libraries. You can simply look into your interests groups to find interesting stuff.


There is still a selection process involved in the development of the monthly/quarterly issues. Whilst they are open to submissions from anyone, they still select what they want to show, which seems a lot more professional than the idea of blogs where anyone can publish anything. Whilst these people could still publish their work on their own blogs, the publication of your writing/art in an online writing site such as these would provide much better chances of reaching your target audience and perhaps getting noticed for outstanding work.


Pushes writers into the emerging era of electronic publishing and advances the movement of the online publishing trend.


Provides an environment that never existed prior to the Internet. Writers never had such free access to the works, opinions or advice of their peers.



Problems with online writing communities




Funding

These online writing organisations are not run for profit and so rely on public and private grants, donations or voluntary work to keep them up and running.


As it is based on creative/cultural works there are not too many other problems with this emerging trend, as is experienced with blogging, such as credibility and accountability. However problems of plagiarism and copyright would still exist.







Future???


• Publishing press

• Movement into online publishing / e-texts






References and Links



• Thomas, S. “Evolving Practice: Writers Working Online with TrAce” Computers and Texts No 18/19
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ctitext2/publish/comtext

http://tracearchive.ntu.ac.uk

• www.drunkenboat.com

• www.electronicbookreview.com

• www.blithe.com

• www.wordriot.org

• www.papertigermedia.com

• www.jacketmagazine.com

• www.beekiller.net

• www.bigbridge.org

• www.fencemag.com