From Gutenberg to the mimeograph revolution, from Alexandria to Wikipedia, from Iskra to WikiLeaks, from memex to hypertext, from the salon to the dream of a decentralized web, few areas of human enterprise have undergone such rapid and fraught sea-change as the manner in which we bridge the private into the public–the manner in which we publish. It is difficult today to mistake the act and process of publication as anything other than a broadcast, a public transmission very much in both the literal and figurative sense, the former yet quite a young notion, but born of the unfathomably protracted labor pains of the latter; thus might we best concern ourselves with the message (content) of publication in a manner to no exclusion of its medium of transmission.1
No less should we distinguish the manner of a message’s drafting from the instruments there in use, inscribed as they are into their respective manner of media, the instantiating means of transmission as inexorable from the medium of transmission.
1. Suggesting here that no small amount of attention or even credence be paid to Marshall McLuhan’s notion of medium as message. ↩