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Chris Brogan is a Writer, but Didn’t I Know that Already?

I’ve been following Chris Brogan on Twitter for a couple years. I enjoy his insightful tweets. and I was delighted to have his help (via a re-tweet) when I sold Christmas cards to  provide free cataract surgeries for the blind. But the other day I learned something about Chris Brogan I never knew before. I learned that Chris is a writer. What????? Didn’t I know he could write before? Okay, allow me to explain.

Tablet photo for Chris Brogan postThere are many different types of people in the wired world, but I’ll focus on just two. Let’s call these groups, “New Technology Embracers” and “New Technology Refusers.” The embracers will stand in line for two days, outside a store in bone chilling temperatures to be one of the first people in the world to purchase a phone with brand new, never before seen technology (the next iPhone, a 6g phone, a 24” folding paper thin screen). They’re the ones hopping on Twitter when it was in beta. They find the coolest apps and write about them on their blogs. These embracers are doing things on the internet that some of us probably won’t experience for a year or so.

“If it’s not chiseled in stone, I won’t read it.”

The refusers unwillingly accept technology and new media if they must. Either their job insists they learn new software programs, surf new media, use email or carry a cell phone at all times or maybe their grandkids are wired to the hilt and they want to stay in touch with them. These are the people who refuse new media at all costs.  They refuse to read an e-book, after all, they believe, “An e-book isn’t a real book if I can’t turn the pages in my hand.” I guess that’s similar to the invention of paper when the refusers back then grumbled and said, “If it’s not chiseled in stone, I won’t read it.” You may not know these people, but they exist. 

I’ll have to admit, that while I’m a fan of new media, I’m not the biggest fan of e-books. I tweeted once about an e-book I was promoting and said as an afterthought, “It’s not a real book, just an e-book.” They promptly tweeted back, “E-books are real books.” Okay, that sort of changed my viewpoint a little, but I am still extremely traditional when it comes to my reading, a lot of people are. Refusers may also look at newspaper columnists and understand their worth as writers. If the refusers only see that column in a blog, they might ascribe less value to that piece of writing and maybe even to the writer himself. The refusers who view writing on the web and e-books as having less value than print are still around but are shrinking in number.

Personally, I still may not like e-books. But as for the value of writing on the web vs. the value of writing in print, I no longer will make snap judgments based on the location of where I read an article. Let me focus on the writing instead. I will now judge writing only on its content and style. Now back to how I found out that Chris Brogan is a writer.

As I was strolling the aisles of our local grocery store the other day, I stopped to look at magazines. I usually browse the money or business magazines. This evening, I picked up Entrepreneur. There were many great articles, one especially piqued my interest. I began reading and then thought, “This guy can write!” I looked at the author’s name and in real small letters it said, “by Chris Brogan.”  Right then and there I realized Chris Brogan is a writer. But it wasn’t a blog and nothing like a tweet. This was in a real live magazine. I also discovered one more thing, that I was a refuser, especially in my attitude towards writers and their works. Well, no more of that for me.

Chris Brogan, without even trying, taught me that evening to respect all forms of writing, not just writing in print journals, newspapers, magazines and books. I also discovered that Chris Brogan is just as inspiring in print as he is on his blog.

What about you? Do you value newsprint over webprint? Did it take you a while to embrace new technology, especially Kindles, Nooks, and iPads? Or do you still embrace a nice paper book in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot tea on a cold winter night? Share your thoughts. I’d love to read them.

By the way, if you don’t follow Chris Brogan on Twitter already, please do so, he’s @chrisbrogan and his blog can be found at chrisbrogan.com


9 Responses to “Chris Brogan is a Writer, but Didn’t I Know that Already?”

  1. Not very far from where I’m typing this response sits Kevin Kelly. You might know him as one of the people who brought the world The WELL, or Whole Earth Catalog, or Wired, or the Long Now Foundation. He’s done so many things, it’s like when someone meets William Shatner. Do you call him Kirk, TJ Hooker?, the guy from Boston Legal? Or just…Mister Shatner, or Shat?

    He said to me last night over dinner with 1000 people in Oslo, Norway, that he will only publish one more paper/traditional book. Everything else will be in the digital format from here on out. It might be print-on-demand or the like, but he’s done with traditional publishing models.

    I’m 2 books from done.

    So, I’m glad you gave me a go in my paper version, but now maybe accept my digital. It won’t be all of us, and it won’t be for a while, but I suspect holding out for paper-only will be like keeping your VHS machine. Very soon.

    : )

    Posted by Chris Brogan | April 15, 2011, 4:51 am
    • Thanks Chris. Yes, everything will soon be digital. I like reading your blog better than going to the grocery store and reading you in print, one main reason is your blog is instant, no lag time for printing. It was just a revelation to me the other night when I saw your words in print. I was like, “Wow, I know who this guy is.” It was a pleasant surprise, like seeing a friend somewhere you didn’t expect to see him.

      I’m looking forward to the day when I can get an e-reader of some sort and take all the books I want, everywhere I go.

      Have a safe trip back from Oslo. See you on your blog!

      Posted by Brian | April 15, 2011, 6:05 am
    • I’m with Chris on this one. Physical print’s days as the most popular medium are dwindling. We’re still on the eve of the digital publishing revolution. Print won’t die completely; I’m expecting it to be more of an 80/20: 80% digital, 20% physical. Schools will eventually use digital, and I’m waiting for the first digital library to come out. Will Amazon be the one to make that happen? Probably. If you’re not part of the digital revolution, you’ll be left wondering what happened like the people who are still searching for VHS tapes to rent.

      Posted by Joseph | April 15, 2011, 2:27 pm
      • 80/20 sounds like an accurate prediction. How far out do think that will be? As for me, I write children’s picture books and I’m still waiting to see how digital will affect illustrated books. Lots of good things can happen. I just hope publishers will still pay writers what they pay now.

        Posted by Brian | April 15, 2011, 5:28 pm
  2. What? I shouldn’t keep my VHS?
    : )

    Posted by Marcy Massura | April 15, 2011, 2:20 pm
    • Seriously Marcy, you still have a VHS collection. I thought I was the only one. Maybe I can trade some of my old Saved by the Bell episodes for something you have.

      : ) Sorta kidding.

      Thanks for visiting today.

      Posted by Brian | April 15, 2011, 2:26 pm
  3. Brian

    I have not yet gotten comfortable with the digital only format. I do not have a kindle or an ipad. I see it as an adjustment period. We went from desktops to laptops, phones that just talked to phones that search and send messages. Our children today are so engrossed in the digital age that they are looking at printed books as those things that weigh them down on the walk home from school.

    If I was handed a kindle or ipad and told read this entire 200 page book on this, I would probably somehow get through it as I did the first time I used the laptop. Now the desktop that I loved so much is the set up for the wireless port and for my 6 yr old to play his games. In time we will adjust but as you said one format should not change our thoughts on the quality. A hardcover can be just as bad in print as it is on the kindle.

    Posted by Suzanne Vara | April 15, 2011, 5:03 pm
  4. Some people are getting a database failure message when commenting. Checking it out now.

    Posted by Brian | April 15, 2011, 5:31 pm
  5. I am a patient embracer. I rely on tech for my work and am, at the moment, eagerly awaiting some soon-to-be-released devices. I totally embrace advancements in technology.

    However, I prefer printed books. I get more out of them visually, and find myself less productive (I retain less information) from digital books.

    Posted by Pamela Hazelton | April 16, 2011, 8:08 am

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