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April 9, 2007

Printed Media in Digital Age (Revisited)

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It seems that InfoWorld has decided to discontinue printed editions of its very long running articles on the Information Technology. Actually, I had come to know this magazine quite late, but found it to be very useful. How many people actually pay for there printed copy of IW? My thought would be not very many. I never thought that a printed magazine could sustain itself without much of a paid subscriber base, but it seems that magazine's digital presence likely supported its printed base.

There was lots of interesting discussion from industry pundits. Perhaps most interesting was observing IW's foray into FOSS.

I started with Russ Pavelic, later the torch was passed to Neil McAllister. I watched this metamorphosis with keen interest because I knew the IDG had some minor stake in IW. Of IDG is a hugely supported by M$, so I often wondered how the IW FOSS news column would evolve. Much to my surprise, evolve it did. I never noticed any hesitation on behalf on the writers Pavelic or McAllister to take shots at M$ when warranted. The articles were largely well researched and insightful.

Now regarding this idea of the new media, and its ability to be highly disruptive in the traditional media space. I spoke about this here. I'm convinced that the new media model is positioned to continue its new growth. The early adopters of netcasting, screencasting or any other casting seems to have peeked the interest of all brick and mortar establishments. Heck now companies like Limelight and O'Reilly have begun to rival Akamai for media distribution dollars. Economies of scale is certainly in order here. Thank God for commoditization of software and hardware. As Doc Searls would say, these are the building materials that make it all possible.

I suppose this digital revolution holds no prisoners, I can point to a few brick and mortar record stores, like my beloved B'klyn based Beat Street, that went under because it didn't understand the digital model very well. Though in their later years the variety of music was seriously lacking, I would imagine that they could have done far better if they simply established a digital presence.

Posted by AG at April 9, 2007 9:35 AM