Great Things About Computers #6: Writing

The development of easier-to-use personal computers has contributed immensely to the ever-greater quantity of writing being done in this day and age. Although opinion will naturally be divided on whether this is a good thing, it has certainly democratized the process considerably, meaning that more and more people can get their writing published or publish it themselves.

To make a long story short, if you wanted to write a book in times gone past, you would have needed a typewriter or a complicated word processor – potentially costing more than was reasonable for a luxury purchase – in order to put together a readable manuscript to send to publishers. Now, it is standard to email a section of the finished draft to them instead.

The phenomenon of “blogging” has taken off in the last few years to the point where an overwhelming number of people now have personal blogs, and to the point where even the idea of blogging has been mutated successfully – witness Twitter, often referred to as a “micro-blogging” site.

There are some – often paid writers themselves – who decry the increase in blogging as somehow “devaluing” the idea of writing. This seems almost exclusively to be a territorial reaction to the threat of losing readers to someone who the reader can relate to. Certainly, some blogs make for awful reading, but the same can without a doubt be said of much of what gets published by paid journalists, too.