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How to save print publications

wwd-2010-03-16 8 Get rid of the printing.

It’s about the value of the words you write, not how they are delivered. If you write something worth paying for, you’ll get paid. If you write crap, you’ll go broke, even if you’re a big famous newspaper or magazine.

Example 1: I was emailed a PDF of an issue of Women’s Wear Daily that I was quoted in. It was exactly as good as getting it in the mail. If they stopped printing it, I’d still buy the PDF and print it myself or read it on screen.

Example 2: In the 80’s we read something called The Hotline from the National Journal. It was a daily report for political campaign professionals. You had to download it with a dial-up modem. It was worth it.

The iPad and the Kindle are going to make a lot of publishers realize that their work isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Or, for a few, that they’re better than that.

Lesson: The MEDIUM is NOT the MESSAGE.

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Comments

  1. Allan Hoving April 4, 2010 at 8:05 am #

    Everyone now accepts that print publications need to migrate online – and monetize – or die. All that’s needed is an easy-to-use method of enabling online publishers to open multiple revenue streams. A user-centric model would allow the readers to choose from among “many ways to pay.”

  2. alexandra April 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    As someone writing in both mediums I find that the online reader has a quarter the attention span of the print reader. It means one must write differently for each market. And as a result I believe there is something lost in translation.

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