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Are We Consciously Abandoning Print…

Steve ponders how we are abandoning print media…I think we attach way too much value to people consciously making a decision about print vs. digital. Is green a factor? I’m not so sure…

…For the vast majority, I think they’ll continue to switch to digital as part of their daily habits and technology use. Before they know it, they are driving over the paper each morning. The reality is most papers aren’t going to be road kill by virtue of a revolt – if only it were going to be that grand. They are just going to quietly ride the irrelevancy curve into oblivion…

Like any product, most newspapers are dying because to lousy product management. Content that isn’t interesting. Bad design. Lack of promotion… They have just become uninteresting to so many…

So do they switch to digital forms because of “greeness“? Don’t think so. Mainly to find their lost customers.

There might just be one exception – where communities are strongest (say Austin) papers might thrive due to their relevance and high-degree of localization. Where communities are most diverse (say New York), the broadcast form of print seems to be having less appeal in favor of real-time and highly localized digital ink.

The joke in all this is that the future of print might actually be in small run, localized rags with rich and relevant content – this in an industry so keen to scale to volume and reach…

One Response

  1. By Karen Russell on July 9th, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Not to get too academic on you, but Constantin Basturea tweeted this link to a very entertaining and thought-provoking paper called “Hamlet’s Blackberry,” which argues that “paper is eternal.” http://www.hks.harvard.edu/presspol/research_publications/papers/discussion_papers/D39.pdf

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