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August 2, 2011

The economics of information

Originally published in tcworld e-magazine, July 2011

In Europe before the 1450s, books were precious, rare objects and were usually copied by hand over a period of months or years. Johannes Gutenberg and his printing press changed the economics of information distribution. The result of this change were less expensive books, greater literacy, and a challenge to those who benefited from restricting information. Today, the rise of the Internet has eliminated distribution costs as a barrier to entering the publishing market. With minimal equipment, anyone can publish his opinion in a blog or book, record and distribute a podcast, or deliver video content. What do these changes mean for technical communication? And what lesson can we learn from the changes that took place 560 years ago?

Read the full article here.