If you have not seen the movie Julie/Julia you should. Not only because it is fun and Meryl Streep is always great, but because it is a great example of why the Internet has changed the way we live, work and learn.
The movie’s main plot revolves around Julie Powell, who lives in Queens with her husband, and her attempt to cook every receipt in Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year. The other half of the movie follows Julia Child, who is living in France in 1949, as she learns to cook and struggles to write and publish the cookbook.
Julie Powell starts a blog, this is 2002 just when blogging starts to become popular, as a way to chronicle her life and cooking. As the movie moves back and forth between the two women and their lives you start to see how quickly life has change due to computers and the Internet.
It takes Julia 2 years using a manual typewriter to do the first draft of the cookbook. Julie uses a computer to write her blog everyday. Julia has several false starts as she and her co-writers try to get a publisher interested in their cookbook. Julie’s blog starts to be read by hundreds of people and she is featured in a NY Times article. This exposure gets her several offers from book publishers. Julie write a book, Julie and Julia: 365 Day, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, which is popular and becomes the movie Julie/Julia.
As I was watching Julia Child struggle to publish her book I was struck how different it is today. Julia, like Julie, could have self-published through a blog or wiki. She could have made videos and posted them on YouTube, or use a self-publishing tool like Lulu and sold it on Amazon. Today anyone can become an author or a make a move, it is just that not all of them will be at Barnes & Noble or at the movies.