If we're all publishers, no one is

(From PoliticsWest.com) Realization: I've been posting less here lately, and more on Facebook and Twitter. The quick shots and impulsive replies encouraged by the format on those social networks, especially the 140-character limit for a tweet, have become a line of least resistance when I want to sound off. In the last few days, versus a single post here at Politics West, I've gabbed dozens of times to my readers (such as they are) on those sites about things like Jason Salzman's assertion that Scripps should keep losing money, Ritter's clueless budget posture, Schwarzenegger's White House fantasy, and -- just this morning -- TABOR hater Rollie Heath and Christmas grinch Susan Greene.

Thus the downward spiral of convenience (plus brevity and vacuity) continues from books to magazines to daily papers to hourly newscasts to 24/7 cable to unmediated blogs to unprocessed tweets. Thoughtful written expression is dying in a race to the bottom, and to my dismay I'm one of the racers. I don't even use a pocket device for the Internet; probably if I did the descent would be even faster, driven by an itchy brain and carpal thumbs.

But, ahem, there's one small problem. Who reads any of this stuff -- my stuff that is; no doubt yours has a large, rapt audience -- who knows or cares or has the time? Well, I'm afraid it's clear who generally has the time: that would be folks who don't otherwise have much of a life. Which tentatively yields Andrews' Theorem:

The attention paid by any given reader to my online musings is inverse to that individual's ability to make any damn difference on the subject I'm writing about.

Oops -- present company excepted once again! This philosophical metacommunication is a minefield of offense-giving and self-contradiction.

I'm hardly the first to say it, but Twitter in particular is forcing upon me the discomfiting truth that if we're all publishers, no one is. Which brings me full circle to a love and regard for the old, slower, fussily-edited, tree-killing modes of writing -- the book, the magazine, the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News (pray God they both survive) -- and even their electronic cousins such as this website. May it too survive the election year that gave it birth.

So thanks for reading this, if you are. Anybody out there? Hello?

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2009 anyway, he said into the cyber-silence.