It's easy for most of us, myself included, to think that digital content creation is something that came about in the last decade or two. There's no doubt that the web has taken it to dizzying heights. But as The Atlantic Magazine points out, digital content creation officially began some 50 years ago with the Xerox 914.
The photocopier prompted creation, not just the recombination of others’ ideas. An alternative to the mess of the mimeograph and the expense of the offset master, the Xerox 914 opened a renaissance in self-publishing. The designer Aaron Marcus, a Yale art student in the late 1960s, remembers using an IBM typewriter with proportional spacing and sharp, single-use ribbons to design and produce books of his own. Indeed, the match between Xerox and IBM Selectrics (introduced in 1961, with interchangeable type elements) paved the way for 1980s desktop publishing.
The last 50 years have seen a lot. It's unlikely that anyone using a Xerox 914 in the 1960s had any idea what was starting.