Maybe what we're really talking about is novelty. Because a mechanism like Twitter is probably the single most powerful and efficient aggregator of novelty that ever existed. The real function of magazines, for the most part, has been to aggregate novelty, to run around to find a lot of new things, put them in your issue, and get them out ideally before the other magazines notices it—then people buy it, bring it home, and wolf down all this novelty.
Now if you've got your Twitter feed set up right, every day you can get more raw novelty dumped on your desktop than you can get buying an entire magazine store. And it changes every day. What does that mean? One thing it means is that magazines have to find something different to do—you have to find some niche that you can operate in.
If novelty is available wholesale at that level and at that quantity for free to a 15 year-old in Nebraska, what's that going to do to the rest of us? I don't know, but I'm sure the next time I'm writing a novel that's going to be one of the post-it notes on the windshield.
at The Atlantic
This interview with William Gibson is a couple months old, but if you're a fan of his, especially of Pattern Recognition and his other recent books, it's most excellent reading.