Hometown Paper Goes Down… To Online

16 03 2009

Seattle P-I goes online only (from Mashable’s Adam Ostrow) today, and the largest daily paper to go online only according the seattlepi.com homepage.

My first wage job was as a Seattle Times paperboy.  Bonus: online newspapers don’t get wet, don’t need to get plastic bagged, and don’t get chewed up by the dog.

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Kindle App Brings Primetime eBooks to iPhone

5 03 2009

I got the Kindle iPhone application this morning.  It’s basic seeming, which can be a good thing and it nicely gets the job done.  I was reading the first chapter (free sample) of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers within minutes.  You have to download eBooks from Safari – seems fine to me until closer integration for purchasing in the app becomes available.

Something is a little obnoxious about reading on the tiny iPhone screen.  Really all I need right now is more reason to stare at the damn thing more often.

In San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle is facing what looks like impending doom.  It’s just a matter of time before the paper portion goes down.  Mayor Gavin Newsom was on Real Time with Bill Maher, proclaiming that bloggers aren’t real journalists (or something to that effect) and that real news will suffer because if newspapers shut down.  Mayor Newson thinks that the Chronicle will probably find some way to rearrange its business.

A rant on why this is a little off would be a whole thing itself.  Writing is writing is writing, and there’s no reason why “real” journalism can’t exist on the web just as easily as on paper – is that not simple enough?  A workable business model is a different story – that’s the piece that’s being worked through.

Marc Andreessen thinks the New York Times needs to kill the paper portion now, as (paraphrase) acute pain is better than years of chronic pain.  Yet he admits that he owns something like 6,000 CDs – quite the counter-argument to the death of media.

Just because a book or newspaper “feels better” doesn’t really mean anything, nor does the fact that staring at a screen so much seems just wrong.  Everyone can have their preferences.  It does not mean that the newspaper, books or CD will go on.  Technology changes things, and hopefully and generally for the better.  Amazon does print books on demand, as do a number of start-ups.  If I want a book to read on the beach, I’ll buy it – plain and simple.  Wasting a tree everytime I want to read the latest marketing guru no latter seems sane though.

My point being – don’t confuse a gut reaction with what way of doing things is really better.  Then, you too can be a futurist and see why paper isn’t dead – it’s just a mostly unnecessary remnant of media delivery.

Mashable gets the credit for breaking this, for me at least.