Macmillan are going all bloggy

Eoin Purcell

Maybe it started with Charkin
Though the spirit has remained since he moved onto a different position and stopped writing his blog.

For one thing they started broadcasting their digital musings on the wonderful Digitalist blog:

Imagine you are reading a book on a tethered device like an iPhone or an Amazon Kindle. Both of these devices are connected to Apple and Amazon and are capable of being remotely updated. Imagine you have bought a book which is stored on the said device. Imagine the book is labeled libelous or in some way defamatory, inflammatory or otherwise in contravention of the law and is ordered to be removed from sale.

The also wonderful Picador blog is running a stream of superior conversations about literary fiction and non-fiction:

Fiction is wonderfully supportive in the abandonment of certainty. I used to read fiction because I enjoyed a measure of uncertainty – the unreliable narrator, the loveable anti-hero. I liked exploring not knowing whom I should trust, who I should support, in a ‘safe’ fictional setting. When I convinced myself I didn’t need resolution of these issues in fiction, I started to enjoy much more experimental writing as a result. But increasingly I find myself turning to fiction for certainty in a world without it. A story ends, no matter what level of resolution the plot has reached. There is always the ‘closure’ of the covers of the book, if not in the emotional lives of the characters.

Even Palgrave Macmillan has links to a massive network of author and title blogs, including but not limited to:
Juan Cole’s Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East
Martin Moore’s The Origins of Modern Spin

To top it all off, today I stumbled upon this, a blog for the Writer’s Handbook 2009. Somewhat appropriately the second blog post on the current line up is this one on setting up your own blog!

Whatever the impetus, I think it is clear that Macmillan has embraced blogging and the web as a way forward. No doubt that has much to do with the success of its Nature Publishing Group’s internet strategy which has been pioneering the use of blogs and the web in promoting and publishing academic work. Their Nature Network is a wonderful example of this:

Nature Network is the professional networking website for scientists around the world. Think of it as the online meeting place where you and your fellow scientists can gather, share and discuss ideas, and keep in touch. Scientists can also benefit from interactions at the local level.

If I’m to be fair I think I’ll have to spend a bit of time looking at the other major publishers and their blogging performance!