One of the effects of the digital age is that it is causing us to rethink things we have lived by for centuries. Take shopping. It would seem adequate to define shopping as "browsing and selecting items for sale." But after doing a great deal of online shopping--even while enjoying its efficiencies--we can feel that we haven't really "gone shopping." It turns out this phenomenon has social or physical elements you just don't get without joining your friends and trotting around the mall. It works the other way, too. After motoring around to several retail outlets to find that SLR camera you wanted for Christmas, this old-school comparison shopping seems ridiculous compared an online experience. Okay, then. We learn that shopping has both meant something more than we thought, and we are finding that (due to the online world) we view and do "shopping" differently.
Publishing compares. As with shopping, the online world is redefining "publishing," taking us back to our assumptions about what this activity is, revealing just how tied this concept has been to printing and paper, and leading us to rethink basic categories such as "book" "periodical" and "issue."