I need to investigate any possibility of publishing my bad side and so attended a Grub Street Writer’s Conference town hall debate on the viability of internet publication. I was bored at first, with the conversation focused on metadata and using key words as effective search terms. My interest was suddenly piqued when Vook VP Matt Cavnar confessed, “We live in a utopia and post-apocalyptic world at the same time. We are truly in the end times.”
Author Steve Almond, a self-proclaimed “digital immigrant”, added: “The digital world is being used by us to foster our distractions.”
The digital proponents remained true. Rachel Fershleiser of Tumblr: “The digital world is just an opportunity to meet strangers in your underwear.” And to the question of whether quality reading was really being done on phones, she admitted that indeed it was “Books versus Candy Crush.” In the end, as persuasive as many of these pundits were – innocently stating that “rich snippets” were in fact “engineered serendipity” – I was ultimately terrified by the willingness of so many to be plugged into the machine. And I thought about writing about that.