Not too long ago, library users depended on librarians for assistance, the newspaper, television, or radio for the latest news, book clubs for recommendations on up-and-coming bestsellers, and a trip to the bookstore to buy textbooks.

Times are changing, as now an online library catalog may help to find a book, the latest  news story may break on Facebook Live, Periscope, Twitter, or even Instagram, online reviews by product purchasers may dictate the next popular novel, and Amazon ships textbooks right to the purchaser’s door.

Over at the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, a mash-up term, “Differmediation” has been created. Traditional channels of mediation — librarians, local media outlets, book clubs, and booksellers — have faded into the background, allowing new and different modes of mediation to take precedence, such as through the mediums listed above.

It becomes abundantly clear that traditional value chains may not be a viable solution for information dissemination in the publishing realm moving forward. The question: “In what ways will textbooks evolve over the next few years or decades?” was asked during the Cohort 12 Fundamentals of e-Publishing conference call earlier this week, and it brought up speculation on what ways these traditional vessels of knowledge may adapt to new technology. Perhaps a greater focus will be on the Open Access movement, or toward more active learning components.

It seems that this concept will increasingly enter publishing discussions and will affect product decisions at a rapid pace. Perhaps “differmediation” will be added to our (internet-based) dictionaries soon.


By: Michelle Piehl

Oct 3rd 2016 Newletter Group, Cohort 12


Works Cited:

Kent Anderson. “A New Word: Differmediation.” The Scholarly Kitchen, 24 Sept. 2016, Accessed 30 Sept. 2016.

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