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Vendor as Publisher or A Retelling of the Wolf and the Dog

Greeley’s Ghost – reincarnated by Brian Fuller – has another great blog on the changing world of trade pubs and their denizens. In his latest musing, called “Vendor as Publisher,? Brian writes about vendor-driven editorial. One of his observations deals with the fact that former trade editors are being hired by companies to write editorial exclusively for customers, employees and partners.

Is this the fate that awaits the talented and technically competent trade editor? Writing behind the cyber gate of one corporate entity? Don’t get me wrong. It seems like a very pleasant fate, at least that’s my impression from talking with colleagues who have gone the corporate route. Several such editors enjoy pay raises, corporate benefits and regular working hours … unlike the trade journal worlds that they left behind.

Still, it does strikes me as akin to the old Aesop fable of the wolf and the dog:

“Discouraged after an unsuccessful day of hunting (for print advertisers), a hungry Wolf came upon a well-fed Mastiff, the Wolf asked what the Dog had to do to earn his food.

“Very little,” replied the Dog, “Just protect my master’s house and family and be obedient to his demands.”

The Wolf pondered this quite carefully – for he had to risk his own life almost daily to earn his food, and then with little assurance of success. The Wolf, who was tempted to adopt the Dog’s mode of living, then happened to notice that the hair was rubbed bare from about the Dog’s neck.

The Wolf asked what caused this affliction, the Dog replied that it was of no significance, “It’s just the place where my collar and chain rub.”

The Wolf abruptly stopped and exclaimed, “Your Chain! You mean you are not free to come and go as you please?”

“No,” responded the Dog, “but what does that matter?”

“A great deal,” replied the Wolf as he trotted away into the forest, “A great deal.”

(Adapted from Wolf Country)

Wolf and Dog

Of course, can you trust a former wolf? “Blaidd Drwg” … (now who said that?) — JB

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