Posted on December 17th, 2008 No comments
Last week I saw the remake of the 1950s movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” It’s like The Matrix meets The Terminator, but with worse special effects, less action, more aliens and more philosophy. It’s certainly not the best movie of all time, but it does makes you think, as it’s about humanity standing at the brink of destruction with one last chance to change its ways.
Of all things, that made me think about the newspaper industry.
If that sounds alarmist, it’s really not. This year many U.S. newspapers face such a dilemma, with one large paper in a two-newspaper town up for sale, a major chain filing for bankruptcy protection, and two newspapers in a major city reducing their print editions to three days a week. As this comes on the heels of what we’re told is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, it’s safe to assume that we’ll be seeing more of this kind of thing in 2009.
My PBS MediaShift IdeaLab post this week is about “Newspaper Armageddon” — a term I use to describe the collective bad news coming out of the newspaper industry in the last two months — and how Printcasting and other customized print solutions represent a much-needed opportunity for newspapers to evolve. I also discuss how the value of print media and physical “stuff” in general increases as you focus on smaller geographic communities and niche interests. Read the full post here.
I’m not naive enough to suggest that Printcasting, or any one initiative or movement, is the silver bullet that will single-handedly save newspapers. That’s never the case for anything. But I do feel that customized print, and “printable” and portable media, are a big part of the future of news. And the great thing is that with a little thought and effort, all of this can be done now. Rather than dwell on same old boring doom-and-gloom, I choose to look at the larger trends and what they mean for the future of publishing. For those news and information companies that enthusiastically embrace change, this is not Armageddon at all. It’s a true second chance to evolve.
Posted on December 13th, 2008 No comments
Hi folks. I’ve been remiss in posting to this blog lately. Part of that is due to being busy at work, and the rather tedious and un-blog-worthy nature of that work (lots of internal product testing and bug filing.) But I did want to let you know that this Tuesday we launched the Printcasting alpha.
You can find out how to be a tester at http://printcasting.com. We will continue to update the alpha until all features are complete, at which point the more open beta testing period will begin. We anticipate that happening between late January and February. Printcasting will launch publicly in Bakersfield on March 2.
By the way, I’m posting this from a new iPhone app that works with Blogger — thus, the brevity. Despite the fact that I spend most of my day at a computer, most of my personal online time has moved to my phone. I also find that I post more frequently on Twitter because it’s easier to do and more social. You can see my Twitter feed in the sidebar of this blog. And if you use Twitter, you can subscribe to my feed.