So, one of the most interesting things in the new PC Magazine digital version (see previous post on first impressions of the new format) is a column by John Dvorak. I’d give you a link but since this is the newly released issue, it’s not available for free yet. I’ll summarize some of his main points.
Dvorak points out that we risk losing our history to digital technology. A particularly apropos topic given it’s in the first digital version of the mag. He was doing some research on articles from the 1990s on U.K. sites and found they were no longer there. All he got was 404 errors. Is this going to become the norm? Should users start to save complete web pages, fearing the shelf-life of Internet information is going to get shorter and shorter?
Compounding this is the perceived extinction of newspapers, which if they survive in some form, will probably let bean counters decide the cost of keeping an archive may offer no payback.
Dvorak ponders that at some point we will look back and find a giant hole in our historical records. Also, he wonders what will become of books when they have all been scanned in by Google, and he considers when companies merge or are bought out, how often publishers don’t know exactly what they own or where it is.
It’s an important area to consider. We are losing part of our history now. Will it get worse? Indications are it will and that will be regrettable.
PC Magazine is no longer printing a hard copy, but because I have a subscription that runs until later this year I received an e-mail informing me I have access to the new digital version of it.
I was a little underwhelmed at first, although it’s slowly getting better as I adjust. Using a Zinio Reader, which you need to download, or a browser version of the program, PC Mag digital seems like the real thing but doesn’t feel like it. It looks how it probably does to the designers creating it on a computer. It’s easy to use, fast, searchable and sharp looking. Is it easy to read? No. You have to get used to it.
My biggest problem with the reader is that you are limited to four magnifications, unlike the Adobe Reader, which has many percantages to choose from. At 100 percent, it’s basically unreadable. You have to put your face about two inches from your computer screen to make anything out, which is very little. At 200 percent it’s readable, but for my preference, it’s a little too big. I want to see more of the page, although I am getting used to focusing on one paragraph, which is what you have to do.
Suffice to say 400 and 800 percent are completely useless and I have no idea why they are in the program. Zinio needs percentages between 100 and 200 percent to make the experience both easier on the eyes and the pysche. It’s hard enough doing extended reading on the web, particularly when you’re reading something you are used to having in your hands.
A Kindle may be a better vehicle although you would lose a lot of color and graphics that a magazine needs. Right now, Zinio is perhaps one of the better technologies for it but it needs to be improved.
The men at the top of most city newspapers across the country talk about their readers wanting more local news. Yet, they continue to lay off and buy out scores of local reporters.
In a previous post, I mentioned PC Magazine was not publishing a print product anymore and would be only available online. Earlier this month Ziff-Davis, which published PC Mag, announced it was out of the print business completely. As this news item mentions, Z-D was responsible for many magazines over its 82-year history, many that I read at one time or another.
No, not that. A journalist in her 20s. An interesting street interview by JD Lasica, touching on most of the social media sites and newspapers to some extent.
Whether newspapers die, that is. Well, I’m sure many of us would say yes. But maybe it’s not about how the news is delivered, but rather that we are concerned about journalism, the stories, the ones that matter. Will they die or fade away?
A couple of viewpoints:
One from a social media site. Are social media sites in competition with newspapers? Yeah, actually, I believe they are.
A nice resource for journalists learning about and making the transition into the new media era.
Money. This twittered on a tweet.
News and views about the media, particularly newspapers:
Some newspapers are considering publishing fewer times a week. I wonder if the state paper is considering this? It would seem the Monday paper would be a candidate for dispatching with the exception of the NFL.
My other big question is where is all the increased focus on local and regional news for The Courant. I just don’t see it yet. Do you?
Can you imagine, the New York Times is down 59 percent in stock value in 2008 and considered a winner.
From Editor & Publisher.
Journal-Register is being calculated in the thousandths of a cent. Does anyone believe Bristol and New Britain will survive and what do you think of the state government getting involved?