Re: Inside Higher Ed: An open

I completely disagree - I wonder if you are confounding genuine fame, or even 'widely known-ness' with manufactured celebrity. Sure, manufactured celebrity is a new thing, and yes, it does need and feed a media machine. But the thrust of the article isn't about celebrity, it's more about being open about your work, and making it available to the public.

I think it's fair that if you are entirely open about your scholarly work - article in public domain, social media active and all that, and your work is still getting single digit audiences (says me smugly, with low double digit readership) out of a planet of 7 billion (maybe a billion of whom are actually online active - still a big number), maybe you need to work on something in the wider public interest. Fame is relative. In the Online education world, you are famous and open. Big fish in a small pond, sure, but it's all small ponds. By being open, you earned (relative) fame.

Also, I think there's a false duality between 'Open' and 'Closed'. I've got a blog post there about these media savvy folk
(http://tertiary21.blogspot.com/2011/01/nigella-lawson-electric-hyperteacher.html) who work broadcast media very effectively as transmission teacher. Some of their content is free, but much of it is pay for access, but cheap - a few bucks for an app, or a book - but intentionally priced at a point where cost isn't going to be a big barrier to people who want the content. Call it 'Open enough' content. It's affordable, not locked behind a high paywall.

The advantage of 'open enough' content is it allows the producer to make a living, buy groceries etc, and also commits them to producing content of a standard that is actually worth ten bucks for the book. Conventional publishing should (usually doesn't) do quality discovery for you. When everything is free, crap detection is more time consuming work. A published book is at least copy edited, redrafted a few times and probably fact checked. A blog post might or might not be. There is space and need for both.

I'd buy your book for 10 bucks, happily, in part to support your work, and in part 'cos I like dead tree books. Then I'd read it, because I'd paid 10 bucks for it. I haven't downloaded it for free, because I have a ton of books in my 'free to read' queue (none as good, I'm sure, but them's the breaks). It wouldn't bug me that someone else might have downloaded it for free. [Comment] [Permalink]