What Is The Web?

Many of us spend the majority of our lives online now.  It’s therefore pretty important to understand just what the web is.  One possible definition:

The web is not, despite the desires of so many, a publishing medium. The web is a customer service medium. “Intense moderation” in a customer service medium is what “editing” was for publishing.

. . .

Create a service experience around what you publish and sell. Whatever “customer service” means when it comes to books and authors, figure it out and do it. Do it in partnership with your readers. Turn your readers into members. Not visitors, not subscribers; you want members. And then don’t just consult them, but give them tools to consult amongst themselves. These things are cheap and easy now if you hire one or two smart people instead of a large consultancy. Define what the boundaries are in your community and punish transgressors without fear of losing a sale. Then, if your product is good, you’ll sell things.

Paul Ford

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