Art and Science have always been connected. Think about Leonardo Da Vinci who was both a brilliant artist and inventor. Historians describe him as a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination".
The Renaissance was all about using science to bring a new level of dimension to painting. And during the Renaissance an amazing new invention by J. Gutenberg was the printing press. It made the mass production of books, hence a wider sharing of ideas possible for the first time.
Even more interesting is both art and science and specifically technology have roots in mathematics. Think of pattern and proportion which is not all that different from the patterns and algorithms used in technology platforms. Many Greek, Roman and Japanese artists use strict guidelines and proportions in their art. My mother, a professionally educated and trained fine artist and fashion designer, taught me early on to use math and proportion to help me when starting a drawing. You really can't have one without the other. Trust me - my early attempts without it were pretty damn awful.
The lightning fast pace of evolution in the digital publishing world is what leads me to write about the combination between art and science. Publishers live and breathe on the imaginative minds of their content creators. The business thrives on the talent and skill of their writers and editors. And these companies are really just starting to push beyond traditional boundaries.
Digital publishers are beginning to use technology in new ways. They are using the powerful information real-time technology can provide. Companies like Huffington Post, Gawker and Mashable use it to make quick decisions. It helps them understand what people are enjoying from moment to moment. They use it to choose and publish information on hot topics.
Recently, Pando Daily wrote about how writers can use technology in exciting new ways:
"How can the technological advantages offered by the web help create content that couldn't exist in any other medium? "Is it possible to create articles that respond to a reader's expertise level on a subject?"*
And Pando wrote about the growing need to change the publishing business model. The need for quality content to win out over quantity:
"There's a promising trend in journalism sites chasing quality over clicks, hoping that by getting audiences to really engage and pay attention to your content (instead of just blindly clicking and sharing) that they'll also be more engaged with the advertising on the site which pays the bills."*
There's so much innovation and hard evidence of our never ending desire for more great content. And for content with varying points of view. Plus there's so much public discussion around both the need for quality and the power of technology to push journalism forward.
And yet many publishers are just not ready. And the companies with businesses based in Print or TV are the ones with the most concerns. They are not convinced that these tools can help them get more out of their content or connect better with their audiences.
Many editors and writers worry that "machines" will replace human writers. And fear that technology will drive creativity out of the process. They think that algorithms will push us towards "paint-by-number" writing and stories.
That could not be further from the truth. In fact, it is the exact opposite. And human history as well as my early experience in understanding the power to leverage art and science, art and mathematics reinforces my belief. By embracing technology, by leveraging its power and by realizing the beautiful marriage it offers between art and science we can insure the stories we write, the thoughts we want to share and our ability to communicate our thoughts, ideas, and opinions (that are as varied as we are) will thrive and reach the exact people who will want to read, enjoy and engage with all that amazing content.
* By David Holmes at Pando Daily.