You’ll hear more about social pub­lish­ing from me in the future, but this is too fresh to hes­i­tate show­ing you. Richard Eoin Nash, for­mer pub­lisher of Soft Skull press, has been try­ing to rally inter­est for a social pub­lish­ing start-up called Cur­sor.

In this inter­view, he defines “social publishing”:

1) Define “social pub­lish­ing” in terms the aver­age book reader would under­stand; no buzz­words, no “organic gur­gle of cul­ture”. What is it, and what’s in it for the reader?

For the reader-as-reader, what “social” means is that there’s going to be more infor­ma­tion about books, more scope to inter­act with the books (your own com­ment­ing & anno­tat­ing and read­ing oth­ers’), more scope to inter­act with the author, more scope to inter­act with one another. (This lat­ter item, to get semi-techy for a sec, is some­thing that the broad hor­i­zon­tal book social networks—Goodreads, Library­Thing, Shelfari—do well, though, so we’re likely to focus on using their APIs rather than ask­ing peo­ple to build their own book­shelves anew.)

“Social” is tak­ing the book and mak­ing it much eas­ier to have a con­ver­sa­tion with the book and its writer, and have con­ver­sa­tions around the book and its writer.

Again, more on this later.