The changing publishing system is about so much more than just ebooks and print books — and what each of these ‘formats’ (and that’s ALL they are – just formats of the ‘printed word’) are doing to each other or to the publishing industry in general.
There has been some real structural changes to writing and publishing processes that enable some truly amazing things — and these changes are not related so much to past publishing industry changes as to entirely new concepts that were just not foreseeable in the ‘Gutenberg past’ that so many can’t seem to shake out of; especially when arguing ‘publishing-change-that-really-isn’t-change-but-just-an-extension-of-past-changes’.
“Draft”, a streamlined online word processor with version control, seems to be a good place to attempt this, hopefully, enlightening discussion:
In Writing Platform Push, Draft Lets You Collaborate Then Publish Anywhere
Draft, a streamlined online word processor with version control, is getting deeper into the new professional publishing ecosystem.
The one-man team of Nathan Kontny has just introduced a new REST API that’ll let any news outfit or other publishing organization connect Draft to the other software it uses. If you’re BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post* or another media company with a big mix of full- and part-time writers, you could use the API to let writers and editors work through versions together in Draft then publish straight to your custom content management system.
Meanwhile, if you’re running a group blog using a standard setup from WordPress or Blogger and you want a more pristine, versioned environment, Draft now lets you publish from it to them.
Since launching in March, it has also added features to publish to Tumblr, Twitter and most recently LinkedIn and MailChimp (which should be particularly useful to content marketers).
Beyond publishing out, Kontny has also made it much easier to pull in content for a draft. He’s added audio and video transcription, a two-way sync tool with file storage services like Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive, and a Chrome extension that lets you pull text into a new or existing draft.
The updates have been coming fast. He’s also built commenting so collaborators can discuss specific sections of a draft, and simple social analytics that let you measure tweets about your writing based on word count, day of the week and reading comprehension level.
Draft, and private-beta competitors like Editorially and Poetica (please invite me, folks) are trying to create a new writing-centric platform to go along with the leading publishing tools of the day. It plays friendly with publishing tools, but isn’t trying to deal with website design and hosting or massive backend content management.
The API and publishing options, the transcription and syncing tools, and comments all help it toward that goal.
I have a suggestion…