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Shirky: Now Is the Time to Experiment

Internet thinker Clay Shirky has a great post on innovation, disguised as a death knell for newspapers. In Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable. he makes the case for why newspapers can't be saved, online or off. Then he does something incredibly honest -- he admits that he doesn't know what's next for text journalism, a valuable commodity.

It's a powerful piece of logic, built in part on Elizabeth Eisenstein's The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, a 1979 book that looks at the impact of the printing press, but Shirky flips to look at the ugly, chaotic, whimsical impact of disruptive technology on the printing press itself.

Shirky's essay is worthwhile but lengthy. This is the takeway, true for any innovator in dark times:

Nothing will work, but everything might. Now is the time for experiments, lots and lots of experiments, each of which will seem as minor at launch as craigslist did, as Wikipedia did, as octavo volumes did.
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