Posted by: David Stewart | July 31, 2012

The Perils of Publishing

It was not so long ago, even within my lifetime, that publishing was a pretty dangerous occupation.

As we visited Paul Pierce’s phenomenal collection of computing machinery a couple of years ago, we could see all the ways you could get maimed or even killed.
Pauls computer collection
Lines of type were cast from hot lead by a Linotype machine, hammered into a frame, rolled over ink and paper and the pages trimmed.
Pauls computer collection
Pauls computer collection
In other words, there was plenty of opportunities to get burned with hot lead leaking from the Linotype, smashed with a hammer, sliced in the paper cutter and let’s not talk about what that that press can do.


Today you can be self-published in your blog. Perhaps the only danger to safety is if someone reads your content and wants to hurt you.

WordPress Does a nice job managing this blog; once I push the Publish button, WordPress pushes out a notice to Twitter, which copies the post out to Facebook. I post to Google Plus manually. If I really wanted to, I could put something on Flickr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, yeah right.

I also try to keep up with a work blog. But for this one, after I write the content, there is a ton of work ahead of me.

Take today, for example. I wrote a small piece trying to lay some track for some future things we want to do with my pet project at work. Along with the core idea of the piece, I came up with a little personal story, found one of my pictures to go with the photo (thanks, Google) and wrote out the content. But then, the work begins:

  • I posted first to the project web site
  • Then I copied the content to my employers public software blog

This was usually the extent of what I would do. This time, however, I decided to cross post a few other places:

  • I posted to my employer’s internal open source blog
  • Finally I copied the blog to my employer’s internal blog system. I don’t usually post to this one since having only 85,000 potential readers seems like too small an audience, I guess

Then it comes time to post out to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, since none of these things happen automatically with any of these systems. I hear that cross-posting is generally a bad idea, but there is no way I’m going to post unique content to four different work blogs.

I really feel for those poor folks who are professional social media people. It seems like the process of publishing takes so much more time than actual writing!

Espresso Book Machine at Powells Books, Portland

But what’s wrong with actual paper books? If you want, you can sign up to use the new Espresso Book Machine at Powell’s Books in Portland. This little miracle prints the pages and cover, roughs and glues the pages and cuts the final book. Nice! No risk at all to life or limb, and you can get a real book to hold and enjoy.


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