Chess Publishing, Web 2.0 Style

Sep 4, 2010, 5:29 PM |

I have answered a number of e-mails in the past month from people who would like "to set up a chess website" (their exact words) for their club or for themselves or self publishing a book on the chess subject matter. At first I wrote back trying to give some traditional self publishing pointers to these folks based on my experience. In the process, I realized that doing an old fashioned HTML website like ours is a lot of work, requires more than the standard computer literacy, and can cost some money if you want to do it right. And I also realized that, really, there is just no good reason to do that sort of thing anymore in this Web 2.0 universe, where web-based, browser-access, collaborative, point-and-click publishing is so accessible, free, fast, and easy. So now I'm going to write up my new advice so that from now on I can just send them the link!

I recently made the leap into Web 2.0 software for a class I'm teaching this semester, and I am now convinced that the easy way is the better way. The only downside I see is that, basically, you are often trusting in these Web 2.0 companies and/or book publishers both to survive and to continue hosting your stuff for free (and without frequent server downtime). But at this point, that seems like a pretty good gamble, at least for as long as your stuff is going to have any currency anyway (and then you can always hope that the Wayback Machine takes it from there).

So the best way, IMHO, for anyone who wants to get started with online chess publishing can be stated in a single sentence: set up a blog at Blogger or WordPress (or use those programs to publish to your own host); use Chesspublisher or Game Replayer to create java applets of your games; use ChessUp, Chess Diagram Generator, or Steve Eddins's ChessImager to create diagrams; and use YouTube to host your videos (until Chess Videos starts taking uploads) or book publishers. That would not be hard, could reach a wide audience, and would not require even a fraction of the work that I put into the KCC site.