Cheryll Barron has written a new OII Internet Issue Brief (No. 4), entitled ‘The Keiretsu-Cooperative: a Model for post-Gutenberg Publishing’, which is available online at SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=1532173 It is an imaginative proposal for a new business model to support publishing in the digital age. Cheryll has written about computers, culture and society for the Economist, Salon, and the New York Times, putting her in the thick of journalism and the online world. Her issue brief is followed by responses from four major authorities, namely:
Bill Emmott, under whose leadership The Economist doubled its circulation between 1993 and 2006, is also the author of eight books, including Rivals: How the Power Struggle Between China, India and Japan Will Shape Our Next Decade (2008).
David Goodhart started the current affairs magazine Prospect in 1995, after working as a senior correspondent for The Financial Times, and continues to serve as its editor.
Godfrey Hodgson, who often blogs for the e-zine openDemcracy.net, was director of the Reuters’ Foundation Programme at Oxford University. He has also been the Observer’s correspondent in the United States and foreign editor of the Independent. He is the co-author (with Lewis Chester and Bruce Page) of the best-selling account of the 1968 presidential campaign, An American Melodrama (1969). His other books include More Equal Than Others: America from Nixon to the new century (2006).
Dr Frances Pinter is the publisher of Bloomsbury Academic, and is the former publishing director of the Soros Foundation, where she ‘directed major projects aimed at reforming publishing in Central & Eastern Europe.’ She has been a pioneer in offering libraries inexpensive digital access to thousands of learned journals. At twenty-three, she founded Pinter Publishing. (An OII Webcast of Frances Pinter’s talk on the transformation of publishing in the Internet age is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn more about this area.)
Through this blog, or your own outlets, I hope you will add your comments on this issue brief and the responses. My hope is that this brief will stimulate and inform more discussion of innovative business models for online publishing.
My thanks to Cheryll Barron, Bill Emmott, David Goodhart, Godfrey Hodgson, and Frances Pinter for their views on one of the most critical issues facing online publishing – the need for new business models.
William H. Dutton (B.A. University of Missouri; M.A., PhD. SUNYBuffalo, 1974) is Professor of Internet Studies, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Balliol College.