In the current issue of First Monday, there’s an article on Open Access publishing in relation to academic research publications by Joseph J Esposito. As a remedy for the high costs of journals, and for the difficulty for scholars to get published in journals and get access to these, Esposito suggests Open Access publishing on the net. This is where blogs come in as they are a form of OA publishing. Further on, he states that the future of online publishing lies within such publishing that is personal and not professional. This is a weblog in a nutshell! Or most weblogs, I should add.
Esposito seems rather optimistic when it comes to the future of blogs, even though only 2 % of the American ICT users have created a blog, and the phenomenon is still not universal. He sees blogging as the last resort today, when you want to spread the word about something, and the local newspaper refuses to take you on. But blogs will increasingly be the first, and perhaps only, resort as blogs reach universal status. I’d love to be around that day!
To further emphasize that blogs are the ones likely to outdo world publishers, Esposito compares the weblog to the mobile phone. Blogs are creating new media forms to address new market needs, according to Esposito. So are wireless mobile phones and look at their success today. But the writer is skeptical to the chance of discourse forms - such as blogs - taking over the world of academic research soon. Unfortunately, I have to agree with him, but I hope that scholars and researchers would embrace blogging. And hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, like Morgan Freeman said in Shawshank Redemption.