In the year 2000, fewer than 300,000 books were published in the United States.  In 2010, more than a million were published.

This means that electronic media didn’t kill the book publishing industry, as some experts predicted.  Quite the opposite.  But electronic media surely changed the industry in several major ways, including:

  • It democricized the industry – made it cheaper and easier for almost all of us to publish whatever we want, whenever we want, even if only our family and closest friends might read it.
  • It dumbed down the industry.  With almost everybody able to produce almost anything, the average quality of published works has plummeted.

The importance of these book industry statistics to us is that they point to what can and does happen in other aspects of life, including school sports.  They provide evidence that sometimes what we think might crush us, only changes us.  Causes us to do things differently – cheaper, faster or better and, sometimes, all three at once.

Some of us in school sports may, sometimes, curse electronic media; but many of the changes they have brought us are positive.  Like officials registering online, receiving game assignments online and filing reports online.  Like schools rating officials online; and online rules meetings for coaches and officials.  Like schools scheduling games online, and spectators submitting scores online.  Like the ArbiterGame scheduling program the MHSAA is now providing all its member high schools free of charge.

Posted in: Technology


freddy krieger
# freddy krieger
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 2:12 PM
One perceived negative with which some must wrestle in this electronic era is the convenience of anonymity that seems to have blossomed in this online age. When, for instance, online ratings of officials by coaches, of schools by officials are convenienced the cloak of anonymity, one could make the argument that the use of the resultant data is jaundiced. Spewing inaccurate and unjust ratings with no means of identification and no measure of accountability or consequences serves no loyal cause, no dedicated individual, no institution any good. But it's said that it's not all that uncommon. I don't recall as much inclination for hiding behind the cloak of anonymity in the print-prone pre-online days.
Then again, maybe the handy occasion of anonymity now, more than ever, reveals the truth.

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