What’s in Your Backlist?

In his post from yesterday, Seth Godin talks about the concept of the “backlist” and how the idea no longer belongs to just authors and musicians.

A backlist is the collection of works from earlier in a career that fans discover (or rediscover) even as the artist continues to create new works.

It used to be that ordinary people didn’t have anything like a backlist. Before web publishing tools became cheap and easy to use, very little of we did was ever stored in a way that someone could easily find. Now I have ten years of a backlist* that may have value to someone, even if it’s only me.

The same applies to students. Not too long ago, the work most of them did – both in and out of school – largely disappeared after graduation. It was as if their creative life didn’t exist prior that point.

Now most are building their backlist at a furious pace, whether they realize it or not.

Godin ends his post by stating “Your history of work is as important as the work you’ll do tomorrow.”.┬á

So, what are we as their teachers doing to help kids make that history something they’ll be proud to have their fans discover in the future?


*More if you want to go rummaging through the Internet Archive.

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