What’s intriguing about Will the future of writing be more like software? is that Pippin doesn’t speak to the publishing process as a whole, but focuses on writing. Being a writer, the article spoke to me about the implications and profound impacts of technology will definitely change the way I am to produce content.
It is interesting for Pippin to approach writing as now being an extremely social art. Gone are the days where a writer is cooped up in their dark rooms and pen; now, tools like “forkpad” allow writers to “take a part (“chapter”) from a Wattpad story and adapt it to their own liking” (Pippin). This really speaks to today’s hypersocial world, something that publishers and writers really need to be attune to if published works are to thrive.
And even after publishing online, works still have a life of their own where writers, commenters, and even internet trolls take part on. When Pippin speaks about “building off each other’s works is common in the open source world of software”, I never really thought of that being a similar practice to what happens on platforms like Wattpad. Works are put on the platform and it is essentially an open source world where, after it is published, people can take it apart and continue it by adding their own ideas into it. This raises the question of when something is truly finished. Having this very hypersocial world filled with people taking each other’s work and adding / taking away from it constantly, does this undermine the professionalism of publishing? Who then has authority over a work after it has been explicated over and over again? In my opinion, these are all things we, as the future of publishing, really need to be conscious of.
The article does a good job of showcasing the positive possibilities of something like “forkpad”, but I feel like there could have been more opportunity for questions and critique. Pippin signs off saying that the future of online works will be “something fun” with all of this social collaborations on writing, but what about detrimental effects it could have? Will the future truly be something fun, or just more confusing noise for publishers to be more deterred from?