Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Scott Adams predicts the end of paid written content

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame is known for being willing to float a crazy theory here and there. But usually, even when floated for comic effect, his theories have at least enough truth to make you go "Hmmmm..." So when he predicts the end of paid writing - and the possible end of quality writing - it is time to pay attention.

Those of you reading this blog are already savvy enough to find and download any content you want for free. But I'll bet the average 40-something user of the Internet still wouldn't know how to search the Internet for criminally free content. At some point, I assume, a Google search for any popular book title will return an illegal source at the top of the page. When that happens, will primarily be selling electronics, household products, and clothes.

I predict that the profession known as "author" will be retired to history in my lifetime, like blacksmith and cowboy. In the future, everyone will be a writer, and some will be better and more prolific than others. But no one will pay to read what anyone else creates. People might someday write entire books - and good ones - for the benefit of their own publicity, such as to promote themselves as consultants, lecturers, or the like. But no one born today is the next multi-best-selling author. That job won't exist.
What do Mod-Blog readers think? Is the role of paid novelist a doomed profession? The professional cartoonist?


mrs. Bowhunter said...

No way. I enjoy actually holding a good book. The author may not get paid as much, but still would get paid.

shadowmom1 said...

I hope Mrs. Bowhunter is right. I, too, like the feel of a book.

quizwedge said...

I think it depends... If people produce better content for free (that includes grammatical errors and typos, editors), then the profession will go away. Otherwise, there will always be people who value good, quality books.

BH said...

This is a person lives in a bubble. There are many other fields and interestes that you must be an expert in to write about and to read about. These people will always pay for top-notch content. Busy people don't have time to waste wading through random people's text dribble.

That is my humble opinion... but then again, maybe I am not an expert (insert toung in cheek)