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Write - Share - Read - Respond

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What is OpenLit?

All writers are readers, and many readers are writers. By enabling community sharing and responding, Oort-Cloud catalyzes interactivity and engagement between writers and readers. This is how readers become better readers, and how writers become better writers.

...authors create and distribute their work, and readers, individually and collectively, including fans as well as editors and peers, review, comment, rank, and tag, everything.
-- from Social Publishing

    Write - Share - Read - Respond

    First, writers write.
    Second, writers share with others what they have written.
    Third, readers read what is available.
    Fourth, readers respond to what they have read.

In a nutshell, though, the "Open" in OpenLit refers to the idea that the most essential quality of the written word is that it be shared. Oh, and the "Lit" part refers to the word itself, of course. ;-)

Done, But Not Gone began in 2007 as an experiment in Social Publishing and Open Lit that grew out of a thought-piece on Corante's "Many to Many" blog (Social Publishing). We hoped it would be a long-term project, but there was always going to be a day when we gave it a proper close. We’ve taken our time in making this final post, waiting to see if the community would transition into something else, but instead, the online world has moved on, and we could not be happier to see that.

Paul B. Hartzog's picture

Wordle - and Social Publishing

Just couldn't resist going to Wordle and making this word cloud from Rick and my work on and Social Publishing. I really like the way it turned out.

Click the image to go to Wordle to see it.

Paul B. Hartzog's picture


Just wanted to let everyone know that I've turned on the ability for us to upload images of ourselves (avatars).

Your avatar will appear on your posts and will help us all to get a little better acquainted. Nothing beats having a face to attach all the great words to.


On to year two!

Hey everyone,

This weekend is Oort Cloud's first anniversary! One year ago Howard Rheingold blogged about us on his site, Smart Mobs, and the next day, Cory Doctorow did the same on BoingBoing. The site had been up for a few days by then, but Paul and I have always considered those two events to be the real birth of Oort Cloud.

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a technical note on tagging

A quick note on tagging:

Tags should be keywords separated by commas.

If you look at the tag cloud on the right hand side, you will see that a number of tags are just long strings of words. If you have done this in the past, here's how to correct them:

When you are typing in a tag/keyword, after you type a few letters, the interface will show you the tag choices in the system so that you can select an appropriate one.

Tagging is only useful as long as the community converges on a set of useful tags like "creative_commons" or "science fiction".

much thx,

Paul B. Hartzog's picture

Who should receive this year's Hugo for best novel? (Hugo's announced Sept. 1st! Last chance to vote!)

Peter Watts
15% (2 votes)
Charles Stross
46% (6 votes)
Michael Flynn
0% (0 votes)
Naomi Novik
23% (3 votes)
Vernor Vinge
15% (2 votes)
Total votes: 13
Paul B. Hartzog's picture

RSS Feeds from Elsewhere

We have added a page with RSS Feeds from people worth listening to who discuss both science fiction and the future of publishing. That's right, we tried it with books, and now we're trying it with people. :-D

In keeping with the open mode around here, the RSS feeds administration page ( is editable by registered members. This means the commuinity is responsible for adding and deleting feeds.

The upshot of all this is:

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Is "Books Worth a Look" Worth a Look?

When we started Oort-Cloud we tried some things just to see if they would float. Some did; some didn't.

"Books Worth a Look" is bobbing.

This post is just to solicit your opinions on whether or not we should:

1. leave it adrift
2. sink it
3. rescue it
4. launch a new ship in its place

and, we'd also like your suggestions about how to do it.

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Podcast - Cory Doctorow Interview

So here is one of those surprises we've been planning!

The king-of-cool, Cory Doctorow, graciously agreed to an interview for Oort-Cloud (expertly handled by our very own Rick Adler).

Cory talks about writing science fiction, including what he's been working on lately, and shares some of the ways he's learned to keep writing despite a very busy schedule. He also has some thoughts about podcasting and about the changes that are coming for the world of science-fiction publishing. We hope you enjoy it!

Here is the .mp3 file (8.5 Mb, 37 minutes).