The history of the Information Age in its first incarnation was all about a top down, big company structure pushing information at us all based on what the corporations wanted us to see, hear or read and most of this ìinformationî was dumbed down for it to be acceptable to the wider masses. This is why many American TV programs repeat what was said before the advertising break after the break because the corporation assumes that lower IQ people are watching it. With the widest possible audience, this opens up the widest possible revenue streams from advertisers. Even if this method of big corporations pushing content of low to average intelligence value was useful for them to attract advertisers, it did nothing for innovation in the programming content line up, truth or accuracy in what was being pushed is all but forgotten, and especially when it was called ìnewsî it is often politicized to the wishes of the corporationís political values.

Then we had the first incarnation of the Internet where anyone could become to publisher and content provider; and this served to give people somewhat more choice about what web sites did contain information relevant to their areas of interest. But even so, the first decade of Internet content was still all about someone somewhere pushing content at the reader and of the reader having little or nothing to say about it.

Web 2.0 Platform For Budding Authors to Promote the Latest Book

It was with the advent of web 2.0 that the Internet truly came into its own and began to really change the world. Large corporations lost a significant share of their ability push any old trash content at the unintelligent masses, because the thinking people simply moved their focus to where they too could become the content provider and get involved. And so we have had a huge shift in the way content is collected; and a massive rise in the sources of content and a massive increase in the niche types of this content. When users share their opinions on blogs, forums and social networks, they have a stake in building their own online persona and they commit to being the best they can be at what they publish. It has been the web 2.0 that returned democracy to the American people. And so web 2.0 has been all about providing a platform with the necessary functionality for people to get involved as contributors where they can join a community of like minded people on any niche subject and be valued for their input.

Users of Authonomy Rank and Rate New Books

Harper Collins have done something special in this regard with the launch of Authonomy which is a platform for budding authors to contribute their writing work for other people to read for free, allowing readers to rank or rate each piece of work for its appeal. Though it has been somewhat controversial, since its beta launch in May 2008 Authonomy quickly grew to publishing online the written output of more than twenty four thousand authors in its first five months after which it was formally launched in production mode. Authors join for free, and they only need to make sure that they publish no less than ten thousand words in the public section of the site. Authonomy is a place for budding authors to show their face and who they are. It is a place where many publishes scan for literary talent that they can pick up and sign to formal publishing contracts. Even though Authonomy is owned and operated by Harper Collins, one of the largest book publishers in the world; there is nothing that binds any member of Authonomy to publishing their work with Harper Collins. Indeed there are now many real life examples of authorís work being picked up and published by competing publishers. And other authors use the Authonomy site as the basis of their print on demand publishing strategies.

Opening a Authonomy Account is Easy

Opening an account with Authonomy is very simple and straight forward. After registering and confirming your email address and password, you are able to log in and create your profile. Of course the more you personalize your profile, the easier it will be to make friends and to establish who you are within the community. And you do not need to be an author looking to publish anything; it is sufficient for you to just want to get involved in the community as a reader of other peopleís work. And so after you have created your account you will be able to navigate around the Authonomy web site to find interesting books to read, or perhaps join into the forum discussion which is a great way to make friends within the community. However if you are a publisher, then you will find all the tools necessary to not only publish your book online; but also how to work with Authonomyís partner called Create Space which is a member of the Amazon Group of companies designed to help people to build up a readership and to sell their books on Amazon.

The Authonomy web site has a very extensive ìFrequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section which can quickly address any questions you have; or you can just ask the community directly on the forum. One clever function is that every new member is assigned their own ìVirtual Bookshelfî which means that every book that you have accessed on the site. Indeed it is also how you rank the different books you have read and details of your virtual bookshelf and rankings are reported on your profile page. This is the central ranking system used by the Authonomy web site by the back end aggregating all the virtual bookshelf ratings of all users. Please note that you are only able to keep five books on your bookshelf, and this is so that registered users are more selective about which books they rank most highly.