Sunday, September 5, 2010

Caught In The Inter Net

My editor, King Seneca, suggested I write a book, and thanks to the electronic planet we now live upon, we have a problem rarely voiced.

I'm guessing I checked in on a literary agent's blog and found some screwball formatting of text and images, and reported same. Considering how much I see and do on that internet thing, that is my best guess. I got an apology, and I'll accept it with grace, but I have no definitive idea why I received one.

In the age when visual text communication was all of the dead-tree style, there was the editor's cut-and-paste, and the dispersal of multiple copies of their handiwork, at once wide-reaching and limiting. Print eight thousand copies and you had around eight thousand readers. They digested your production, right down to all the whoopsies. Sure, a misprint caused chuckles and some ridicule, but only to those readers. Thanks to the internet, however, the entire world can see your screw-ups.

Then again, there's so much online, relatively few may see the results of your sweat equity, and it can be corrected literally in a flash.

What a colossal two-edged machete this Internutty thing is.

I suspect that the biggest and most widespread online entities hire folks whose entire goal is to minimize errors electronically cast out from pole to pole. Catchy appearance is always required, and so is not embarrassing oneself when one is implying crisp professionalism. And this stuff is far more complex than the cut-and-paste of eight pages daily.

You know what I think?

I think that, despite the grand and glorious opportunity for an eye-crossing hodge-podge where crisp layout belongs, there's also the broad opportunity for readers to give this stuff a pass, then go on. I like to think that the web-thing gives more readers more chances to show their grace and forgive and forget the gremlins too easily loosed upon them.

You think it's tough to bop out a daily rag on time and reliably ready for the corner hawkers? At least you're doing the same boring thing on a daily basis, so you're probably going to get relentlessly good at it. Just try a non-time-critical one-shot that doesn't present itself well to your intended audience because they're doing something freaky with their browser software, and you're using the simplest and most common and trouble-free gear, so you never see what the problem is.

Wow, did I ever get to babbling, there.

I need a really good editor.


1 comment:

Dave Clark said...

Ky, please, you may be right, but I'll throw stones when I'm convinced I've failed because I'm disillusioned with the business, and that'll be the moment when I'm lowered into the grave, thank you.