A few days ago I blogged about why I think the AuthorAssistant program from HarperCollins is a great idea. Despite recently coming across this curious post from Seth Godin I still like AuthorAssistant and I hope other publishers should launch similar initiatives.
Seth complains that "Publishers, like many organizations, want to control the conversation, want to own the web page, want to be sure that people come to them, as opposed to going where people are." I'm sure some publishers do indeed feel this way, but what does this have to do with HarperCollins offering a simple way for their authors to create a web presence? After all, in the world of RSS does anyone really care who hosts your blog?!
Seriously, I keep up with almost 200 different blogs each week and the only way I can do this is with RSS feeds. There's no way I'm going to visit all of those sites directly -- there's simply not enough time in the day! I'll bet that 95% or more of the blog reading I do every day is done in my RSS reader and I have no idea who those blogs are hosted by.
AuthorAssistant offers a great way for HarperCollins authors to create a simple web presence. Sure, HarperCollins can benefit from this, but their authors are free to either join AuthorAssistant or create a site on their own. I think Seth is wrong to bash AuthorAssistant and I hope it becomes a popular resource for HarperCollins authors.