Stuff printed on dead trees? What’s that?

No, Don Dodge, I don’t read newspapers or magazines anymore either.

Funny, with Tristan, the intern at Wikia, we had a long discussion about RSS and newspapers and such. I told him that I don’t read newspapers anymore, having replaced that almost wholly with RSS aggregator usage. Oh, and sites like Digg and TechMeme. He said he didn’t read TechMeme. I don’t start my day without it.

Yes, I live in a bubble. So, don’t bother taunting me with that.

The thing is I notice that traffic on TechMeme keeps going up. It’s on a doubling curve. How long will it double? Yes, Dare, I want a personal memetracker too.

40 thoughts on “Stuff printed on dead trees? What’s that?

  1. Robert,
    PBS’ Mark Glaser has an interesting interview on this subject. Dr. Samir Husni, a journalism prof, says “As long as we have human beings, we are going to continue to have ink on paper. I’m not an ostrich who puts his head in the sand because I know there are some things that print cannot compete with the new technologies. But there are also ways that the new technology cannot compete with print.”
    http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2007/05/digging_deepermr_magazine_beli.html

    By the way, U.S. commercial printing industry had a record year in 2006, and book sales were also strong. At the same time, print is clearly fading as a medium for timely news and dialog.

  2. Robert,
    PBS’ Mark Glaser has an interesting interview on this subject. Dr. Samir Husni, a journalism prof, says “As long as we have human beings, we are going to continue to have ink on paper. I’m not an ostrich who puts his head in the sand because I know there are some things that print cannot compete with the new technologies. But there are also ways that the new technology cannot compete with print.”
    http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2007/05/digging_deepermr_magazine_beli.html

    By the way, U.S. commercial printing industry had a record year in 2006, and book sales were also strong. At the same time, print is clearly fading as a medium for timely news and dialog.

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  4. If Robert wants to get all information from the web, so be it, that’s his prerogative. But talk about marooned-island isolated.

    The death of the newspaper and magazines, has been greatly exaggerated, and click didn’t replace brick. Adjustments, new developments, and differing markets sure…

    And what of the local papers that are the community itself, and the tabloid-style readers, like the Chicago Reader, that are the pulse of the city, and only some of the content is webified.

    You really cut yourself off if you limit yourself to only one informational source…

  5. If Robert wants to get all information from the web, so be it, that’s his prerogative. But talk about marooned-island isolated.

    The death of the newspaper and magazines, has been greatly exaggerated, and click didn’t replace brick. Adjustments, new developments, and differing markets sure…

    And what of the local papers that are the community itself, and the tabloid-style readers, like the Chicago Reader, that are the pulse of the city, and only some of the content is webified.

    You really cut yourself off if you limit yourself to only one informational source…

  6. Newspaper circulation has been falling steadily for 40 years.

    In fact the data is so compelling, we identified newspapers as the number 1 industry facing disruption on our top 10 industries under attack list published earlier in the summer:

    http://www.ondisruption.com/my_weblog/2006/07/top_10_industri.html

    More on the media meltdown and what traditional media companies can do about it:

    http://www.ondisruption.com/my_weblog/media_meltdown/index.html

    Some questions arise:
    * How do consumers define “quality journalism?”
    *If the newspaper business is dying, why is Metro International doing so well in 21 countries?

  7. Newspaper circulation has been falling steadily for 40 years.

    In fact the data is so compelling, we identified newspapers as the number 1 industry facing disruption on our top 10 industries under attack list published earlier in the summer:

    http://www.ondisruption.com/my_weblog/2006/07/top_10_industri.html

    More on the media meltdown and what traditional media companies can do about it:

    http://www.ondisruption.com/my_weblog/media_meltdown/index.html

    Some questions arise:
    * How do consumers define “quality journalism?”
    *If the newspaper business is dying, why is Metro International doing so well in 21 countries?

  8. Long form journalism, the kind found in Fortune, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, is hard to find on the web. Even when it’s on the site, it is not the same experience, IMHO, as sitting on a couch, in bed, etc., reading the actual print publication.

    Quality will continue to work out — so pubs that do a great job of delivering content in a varied way will continue to thrive. The web, and blogs, have been a wake up call to the publishing industry — write about what people are interested in, show new ways of looking at the world, and the readers, and advertisers, will stick around.

  9. Long form journalism, the kind found in Fortune, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, is hard to find on the web. Even when it’s on the site, it is not the same experience, IMHO, as sitting on a couch, in bed, etc., reading the actual print publication.

    Quality will continue to work out — so pubs that do a great job of delivering content in a varied way will continue to thrive. The web, and blogs, have been a wake up call to the publishing industry — write about what people are interested in, show new ways of looking at the world, and the readers, and advertisers, will stick around.

  10. 10. “Besides, I have no interest in taking my computing device into the bathroom with me….:-)”

    Ludite!

    As I said somewhere sometime… we’ve been bragging about getting rid of the waste of newsprint for decades and now that the technology is here everyone acts surprised. Even small home-town newspapers that only publish weekly in many cases now have online editions.

    Subscriptions fees don’t even pay the cost of delivery, much less printing, so in what way are publications better off by not being on the net? A network edition can carry all the same ads, can measure with great precision how many people see those ads (some in the publishing business probably see this as a downside) and can even measure click-throughs to purchases.

    Add to that the fact that a local paper, if they have interesting content can multiply their readership around the globe.

    I think the biggest problem is that so many people have yet to adjust to all the possibilities that are out there. The net frees everyone from the weekly or daily news cycles. Print magazines still fill up my mailbox, only now when I open one up I find that I’ve already read most of the articles of interest. I have to ask myself, how many Internet-free subway or plane rides am I going to be needed these for. Not enough to justify the waste is the answer in my case, probably many others too.

  11. 10. “Besides, I have no interest in taking my computing device into the bathroom with me….:-)”

    Ludite!

    As I said somewhere sometime… we’ve been bragging about getting rid of the waste of newsprint for decades and now that the technology is here everyone acts surprised. Even small home-town newspapers that only publish weekly in many cases now have online editions.

    Subscriptions fees don’t even pay the cost of delivery, much less printing, so in what way are publications better off by not being on the net? A network edition can carry all the same ads, can measure with great precision how many people see those ads (some in the publishing business probably see this as a downside) and can even measure click-throughs to purchases.

    Add to that the fact that a local paper, if they have interesting content can multiply their readership around the globe.

    I think the biggest problem is that so many people have yet to adjust to all the possibilities that are out there. The net frees everyone from the weekly or daily news cycles. Print magazines still fill up my mailbox, only now when I open one up I find that I’ve already read most of the articles of interest. I have to ask myself, how many Internet-free subway or plane rides am I going to be needed these for. Not enough to justify the waste is the answer in my case, probably many others too.

  12. LayZ: the Publisher for the Washington Post told me that 51% of Washington D.C. residents wake up with a newspaper on their front porch. You’re right, of course.

    And why did I agree to have a book published? Cause a book publisher offered us money to do that.

    I think it’s funny because we published pretty much the same thing on our RSS feed.

    As to my lack of knowledge or authority, why don’t you write a blog for five years straight and see how idiotic you look after you shared everything you know? Nah, it’s easier to throw rocks at other people.

  13. LayZ: the Publisher for the Washington Post told me that 51% of Washington D.C. residents wake up with a newspaper on their front porch. You’re right, of course.

    And why did I agree to have a book published? Cause a book publisher offered us money to do that.

    I think it’s funny because we published pretty much the same thing on our RSS feed.

    As to my lack of knowledge or authority, why don’t you write a blog for five years straight and see how idiotic you look after you shared everything you know? Nah, it’s easier to throw rocks at other people.

  14. In addition, been to a Barnes and Noble or Borders lately. Everytime I’m there the place has decent traffic, even around the magazine rack. I’m sure there’s a reason Starbuck’s has stores attached to Barnes and Noble. What is the reason, I wonder?

  15. In addition, been to a Barnes and Noble or Borders lately. Everytime I’m there the place has decent traffic, even around the magazine rack. I’m sure there’s a reason Starbuck’s has stores attached to Barnes and Noble. What is the reason, I wonder?

  16. I agree with Coulter (what a surprise). Dude, get out of your echo chamber. The fact that you get all the information you need via RSS feeds email certainly explains a lot about your lack depth of knowledge on most any subject. You would do well to read a book once or twice. Or the NYT, or the WSJ, or The Atlantic, or any number of publications that still come out on paper. But hey, we all make choices.

    I’m sure the opticians, optometrits and eyeglass makers will love this impending trend.

    For me the form factor of using any type of electronic device for reading anything for longer than 5 or 10 minutes is intolerable.

    Besides, I have no interest in taking my computing device into the bathroom with me….:-)

    Newspapers are not dying because of the format. They are dying because of drying up ad revenues.

    I do note that you were all too happy to have a book published. Why is that?

  17. I agree with Coulter (what a surprise). Dude, get out of your echo chamber. The fact that you get all the information you need via RSS feeds email certainly explains a lot about your lack depth of knowledge on most any subject. You would do well to read a book once or twice. Or the NYT, or the WSJ, or The Atlantic, or any number of publications that still come out on paper. But hey, we all make choices.

    I’m sure the opticians, optometrits and eyeglass makers will love this impending trend.

    For me the form factor of using any type of electronic device for reading anything for longer than 5 or 10 minutes is intolerable.

    Besides, I have no interest in taking my computing device into the bathroom with me….:-)

    Newspapers are not dying because of the format. They are dying because of drying up ad revenues.

    I do note that you were all too happy to have a book published. Why is that?

  18. With newspapers, I hesitate to throw them out because I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. The cool thing about reading online is that it throws itself away.
    [topic jump] I’m amazed at how much energy/investment the NYT puts into replicating the look and feel of their print product online. It’s almost as though they’re trying to step into the boat, while keeping one foot safely anchored on the dock. (and their best columnists locked up in the boathouse). Not a good strategy.

  19. With newspapers, I hesitate to throw them out because I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. The cool thing about reading online is that it throws itself away.
    [topic jump] I’m amazed at how much energy/investment the NYT puts into replicating the look and feel of their print product online. It’s almost as though they’re trying to step into the boat, while keeping one foot safely anchored on the dock. (and their best columnists locked up in the boathouse). Not a good strategy.

  20. Techmeme is great, but I still would prefer to read the newspaper while drinking coffee on a Sunday morning and a magazine while eating my lunch. There are cases where the internet has replaced print publications… but it’s not across the board for most people.

  21. Techmeme is great, but I still would prefer to read the newspaper while drinking coffee on a Sunday morning and a magazine while eating my lunch. There are cases where the internet has replaced print publications… but it’s not across the board for most people.

  22. I’ve never subscribed or regularly read a newspaper, and I haven’t read more than a single article in one for over 10 years.

    The Internet, TV news in the background for major incidents and RSS is enough. Besides there just isn’t enough time for a newspaper when you are trying to keep with MS technology and read 10 Scoble posts a second ;)

  23. I’ve never subscribed or regularly read a newspaper, and I haven’t read more than a single article in one for over 10 years.

    The Internet, TV news in the background for major incidents and RSS is enough. Besides there just isn’t enough time for a newspaper when you are trying to keep with MS technology and read 10 Scoble posts a second ;)

  24. Robert, you probably read more than 99% of all people, but none of it is printed. I am the same way. Many of the sources are traditional media…but delivered over the web.

    I was surprised to see the top 10 magazines were all old style; AARP Magazine, AARP Bulletin, Readers Digest, TV Guide, Better Homes & Gardens, National Geographic, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Lady’s Home Journal, and Woman’s Day. Of course they are not losing readers to the web…they are losing them to the grave.

    Old line media has some time to make the change, but not much. I am impressed by the newspaper and magazine writers who have their own blogs. I read lots of those guys.

  25. Robert, you probably read more than 99% of all people, but none of it is printed. I am the same way. Many of the sources are traditional media…but delivered over the web.

    I was surprised to see the top 10 magazines were all old style; AARP Magazine, AARP Bulletin, Readers Digest, TV Guide, Better Homes & Gardens, National Geographic, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Lady’s Home Journal, and Woman’s Day. Of course they are not losing readers to the web…they are losing them to the grave.

    Old line media has some time to make the change, but not much. I am impressed by the newspaper and magazine writers who have their own blogs. I read lots of those guys.

  26. Hi Robert;

    I agree that newspaper is dying. What is funny, is even white papers are no longer printed on paper. Pretty much distributed as PDF files only. I am sure the future will change them even more.

    Mike

  27. Hi Robert;

    I agree that newspaper is dying. What is funny, is even white papers are no longer printed on paper. Pretty much distributed as PDF files only. I am sure the future will change them even more.

    Mike

  28. Christopher: I’m sure there’s tons of value in that stuff. But I get to the information I need through my RSS reader and through email. Almost every magazine and newspaper is available online anyway. Yeah, there are notable exceptions. But heck with them. Heheh.

  29. Christopher: I’m sure there’s tons of value in that stuff. But I get to the information I need through my RSS reader and through email. Almost every magazine and newspaper is available online anyway. Yeah, there are notable exceptions. But heck with them. Heheh.

  30. Broadcasting your ignorance, for all to see, eh?

    Tons of value in newspapers, and magazines and publications, ie. longer-articles, how-to’s, research, whitepaper pubs, analysts reports, and stuff to which you don’t have to be a RSS-ADD, Beth-Goza-30-second-focus type to digest.

    And you really should read the eventdv.net mag cover to cover… :)

  31. Broadcasting your ignorance, for all to see, eh?

    Tons of value in newspapers, and magazines and publications, ie. longer-articles, how-to’s, research, whitepaper pubs, analysts reports, and stuff to which you don’t have to be a RSS-ADD, Beth-Goza-30-second-focus type to digest.

    And you really should read the eventdv.net mag cover to cover… :)

  32. Three papers a day, and one magazine a week. At least. And, that’s just print.

    Online, I read at least three more papers.

    I might be different than most, but not everything you need is going to be online. And, I watch TV. ;)

  33. Three papers a day, and one magazine a week. At least. And, that’s just print.

    Online, I read at least three more papers.

    I might be different than most, but not everything you need is going to be online. And, I watch TV. ;)

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