There are visible and happy signs that online publishing is evolving – in a good way.
The speed with which content can be written, edited and published helps, for sure, but the real driver is the increasing number of serious writing folk with a serious online presence.
Initially, because online publishing is cheap and easy, it encouraged idleness in terms of quality. The endless bytes of dross that passed for online magazines are slowly and surely being leavened with imaginative launches showcasing wise words and solid content. And finding the good stuff is becoming easier; Google clearly likes good stuff.
The Wild West of online publishing is gradually developing its own civilised pockets; the Gold Rush has passed its peak, to continue the analogy, and the lovely mansions of Nob Hill are starting to emerge from a landscape where once was nought but lawless waste and greed.
I was recently introduced to Aeon Magazine by a friend who is a writer and journalist. It exemplifies this trend, I believe. Staffed and managed by a bunch of bright, thoughtful people, it is a stark contrast to the old-school media model, encumbered as it is with too little innovation, and stifled by increasingly desperate boardrooms.
Making money in online publishing is very hard but the costs are lower and the opportunities are seemingly endless. Aeon, like the Huffington Post and others, has laid down markers that point to an exciting future for good writers and editors.