The Thing About the Death of Print…

From Daring Fireball, a bunch of magazines are about to launch a campaign intended to sway people away from the net and back to reading paper magazines, about as foolhardy a thing they can do at this point.  Getting back to my thoughts about reading on Sunday, I have to think that one of their slogans has a point:

“The Internet is fleeting. Magazines are immersive.”

The internet can be fleeting.  As we’ve all been trained to hop from link to link and pull information from a world of sources, depth can be hard to come by.  Its kind of funny to think that the magazine, a format considered fleeting itself in the old days, would be considered immersive.  But reading a magazine from beginning to end is something you just can’t replicate online.  What the print publishers fail to realize is…

A generation of people have grown up without that experience, they don’t understand it, and they don’t need it.

We read magazines because they were there for us to read.  Now there are other things to take up our time.  Everyone seems to forget that reading the way we do is not some natural human trait, but an adaptation to the way the written word is printed and disseminated.  As that has changed, so have our reading habits, and that change isn’t about to stop simply because some dinosaurs are fighting it.

2 thoughts on “The Thing About the Death of Print…”

  1. You’re absolutely right, but it is depth of a different kind I guess. I think most of the difference is the loss of a narrative driving you deeper into a story, and the facts that story is built around. Hyperlinking our way through an idea may lead you to more information, and even information that would contradict your thesis. Of course if you look at your average magazine article the author has no problem bending facts in every direction to fit that narrative, so is it really any better? Speaking of hopping around my mind is completely frazzled right now and I’m sure this comment reflects that.

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