The End of All Things
Actually, it's not the end of all things, just big uncomfortable changes for more institutions getting the Internet whammy. Some months ago I had posted that the Internet had really hit the sales of two businesses: map companies and porn.
Map Quest delivered the first body blow to Rand McNally, but it was Goggle Maps (who ironically enough, has almost driven Map Quest out of business) and iPhone apps that killed off the traditional map companies. Thompson Maps, those big city map books we used to lug around, has also been kicked into obsolescence by GPA devices and smart phone map apps. Similarly, why rent or buy porn when--as I've been told--you can get it for free via the Internet?
The next thing that's on the endangered list are those editor's proof marks we writers love so dearly.
What's happened is that most editing done today is on e-copies using track changes. Back in the Golden Age of writing, you used to send a paper copy of your manuscript to your editor, she would mark up your pages using the proof marks (once you understood them, it was like being in the special writers' club and you looked forward to fighting back with STET
). Now with e-copies, you'd have to manually insert the proof marks as symbols, and it's just as easy to note the correction with a comment. Considering how fast a new crop of writers advances up the system, I suppose in three years remembering proof marks will identify you as one of the those dinosaurs who used dial-up modems and white-out.
Image from Getting Published blog
It's time we pay our respects to the passing of the hardbound dictionary and thesaurus. I still have my copies and they wear their scotch tape repairs and dogeared edges like proud scars. But when you need help with a word, it's so much easier to goggle word definition
or word synonym
The next institution that's taking an Internet beatdown is the newspaper business. No surprise of course. Most cities have only one daily and some--such as New Orleans--not even that. Our chapter of the Mystery Writers of America meets in the Denver Press Club, a creaky vintage hangout, great place to soak up local history and booze. Like many American cities, Denver was home to several dailies and weeklies. But what's walking the plank are not just newspapers but newspaper reporters.
The press club displays caricatures of local news personalities and these cartoons reveal that it was once possible to have a career as a reporter. This meant newspaper readers had men and women with an institutional memory of the city and its politics and the means to say, "Here we go again," whenever politicians came up with a "new" harebrained scheme that didn't work the first time. And they had the means to peek under the rug of business and government obfuscation to show us who was doing what and why. We're expected to think that social media will fill the void, and the Internet has many things but sadly, no editors or ombudsmen. A friend's wife was a reporter and columnist at The Denver Post
, and she states that time on the news beat has been replaced by driving traffic to Twitter and FB.
But there is much that is still thriving.
This week, you have THREE big chances to wear your literary duds.
Wednesday, June 6, critique pal, Warren the shank
Hammond, signs and reads from his newest book, Kop Killer
, 7:30PM at the Tattered Cover on Colfax. Kaye Lynne Booth shares her review in the Colorado Examiner
In case you haven't heard, the next two weeks in Denver are all about LitFest at the Lighthouse Writers Workshops.
Tuesday, June 5, I'll be moderating and channeling snark at the LitFest Salon, Writing With a Gun to My Head
, featuring Julie Kazimer and Jason Heller. Drinks are poured at 7:30PM, with the interview starting at 8PM. There is a charge of $30 for nonmembers, but if you belong to RMFW, MWA, or DASFA, you can get in at the member rate of $20. The price includes beverages and food.
Thursday, June 7, Salon: Literary vs. Genre Death Match
, featuring Nick Arvin, Nic Brown, Robert Greer, and the great Connie Willis. The party starts at 7:30PM, Salon at 8PM, same pricing deal as above.
And...I've still got openings for a couple of classes during LitFest:
Scene and Sequel: The Building Blocks of Story
What was the Question? Keeping your story on track
Labels: apps, Denver Post, Lighthouse Writers, LitFest, maps, proof marks. Warren Hammond