Online Articles

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I want to respond to Lee Bessette's "Print Fetish" article with another article (found here) mostly because her tweet about "the 'temporary' nature of the digital" is, in some cases, dead on. The article that I posted I was asked to read for another English class in order to grasp a better understanding of online literary magazines. Publication in various established literary magazines is often the first step in a writer's career because these kinds of publications effectively build his or her resume.

Online literary magazines naturally arose with the outbreak of the Internet and my guess would be they've grown in popularity since the release of the iPad. There are tons of reputable sites. Electronic Literature is one. But the problem with the Internet is that it's always changing, kind of like a modern language. Just as new words or new ways to use words are constantly being added to a language, some expressions falling by the wayside, new sites and pages are constantly being added to the Internet and some, well, are falling by the wayside.

The professor who showed me this article actually admitted that he'd been "unpublished" before. That's the term now used to describe what happens when a piece "published" via an online literary magazine disappears because the online literary magazine sinks in renown and can no longer be maintained, or the web editor decides to remove the individual piece for one reason or another. In my professor's case, the site could no longer be maintained. He wasn't upset that he'd become unpublished because he wasn't particularly proud of the poem, but what if he had been? It's considered to be of bad taste to try to republish a piece that's already been published once.

So in thinking about traditional publishing vs. digital publishing, know that there's some risk involved in the latter and not a whole lot in the former. For better or worst once something is on paper, it's on paper. And there's very little "taking back."