Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dinosaurs...



...are extinct because they could not change.  The same thing is happening with the print media business. 

Printed books and printed newspapers are going the way of the dinosaur.  I always laugh when someone tells me how important it is that they hold a newspaper in the morning and read it over coffee.  Or, how important it is to be able to hold a book and to smell a book.  Talk about rationalizing your position. That is a joke.  How does holding a piece of print media enhance the reading experience.  

I get over 700 news feeds every day and I don't hold or smell my computer.  I do learn a lot and end the day a lot more informed than when I started.I read the New York Times, The Washington Post and The Denver Post on line every morning without leaving my bedroom or even getting dress.  And yes, I get a ton of ads in the process and nearly every day I click on one or two ads to check out their offers and products.   

I love books.  In fact I bought three new books last week from Barnes and Noble.  But,  I did not buy them so I could smell them and hold them.  I bought them because I wanted to learn something.  

On Book TV on C SPAN II recently there was an excellent discussion on this very issue.  Publishers of newspapers and books were on a panel talking about the future.  

Now consider what they said.  

There are more words being written and read today than ever in the history of man.  Words and writing is not a dying business.  It continues to be a growth industry. There are more writers today than there ever have been.  There are more journalists reporting the news today than at any other time.  There are more news media outlets today than ever in the history of man.  And none of these are in the print media.  They are all writing and publishing in the digital market.  

Speaking of markets there is more money being spent today in the media for advertising but not in the print media.  The money is being made in the digital market.  

Words and the selling of words is a growing field but not doing it in print.  The only change is the delivery system.  Newspapers and magazines are moving quickly to digital areas because they can see the writing on the wall. No pun intended.   They can see that the appeal of holding print media and smelling print media has already gone the way of the dinosaur.  

I have said this before but, in 1995 at a public forum on Libraries I asked the question what will the world be like without books and libraries?  Fifteen years later we are at that point.  The old adage of "Publish or perish" is still true but everyone needs to look at the new and wonderful ways of publishing.

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