In an interview over at the Findings blog, Clay Shirky responds to the question “How is publishing changing?”:

Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away. Because the word “publishing” means a cadre of professionals who are taking on the incredible difficulty and complexity and expense of making something public. That’s not a job anymore. That’s a button. There’s a button that says “publish,” and when you press it, it’s done.

In ye olden times of 1997, it was difficult and expensive to make things public, and it was easy and cheap to keep things private. Privacy was the default setting. We had a class of people called publishers because it took special professional skill to make words and images visible to the public. Now it doesn’t take professional skills. It doesn’t take any skills. It takes a WordPress install.

A year ago, Paul Martone and I began Late Night Library‘s podcast to talk about debut fiction and poetry. By founding an online community specifically focused on conversations about first books, Late Night Library wanted to counter a system that sidelines writers with little name recognition and few promotional resources, in many cases without even reading what they’ve published.