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This word has been around for nearly two years, though it has only in recent months begun to be at all common. It’s a development of the blogging revolution. Some bloggers have realised that the format allows them to reach large numbers of people very quickly and cheaply and that — through a mixture of sponsorship, donations and targeted links to online marketing sites such as Amazon — it is possible to make money. The essence of the approach is to provide a targeted audience with informed news and comment on some specialist subject, whether it’s political gossip or the latest in electronic gadgets (or even the English language). The idea behind the name for the technique uses the prefix nano- in a figurative sense of something extremely small-scale.

It was launched by New York-based Brit Nick Denton — who also started the ultra-hip blog site Gawker.com, a mix of New York party gossip and news. Denton’s approach to online publishing is part of a trend that’s been dubbed “nanopublishing.”

Newsday, 16 Feb. 2004

In a final piece of nanopublishing news, the pair behind Guardian blog award-winning The Big Smoker have relaunched as the London outpost of the blog network Gothamist.

the Guardian, 18 Nov. 2004

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 8 Jan. 2005

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-nan1.htm
Last modified: 8 January 2005.