Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The End of the Print Version - Going Fully Digital?

The wonderful resource, PC Magazine, (according to this article) is going to end publishing its print version of its magazine. Wow! I have picked up a copy of this mag many, many times. I have found it to be a wonderful resource for tech news (for the PC that is.)

Is this the fate of all magazines? I think eventually it will be, once digital readers are more mainstream. Here is what I see is a possible future for us (us being the world.)

Eventually we will not use paper for our news or magazines, but use the internet or wifi or cell phone type technology. It could even be a new fangled type of data transmitting tech. The exact how and what is not important, just that it will happen. Paper cost money. Printing on paper costs money. Delivering those prints on paper costs money. The way to get around that is to create a means of trnasmitting your letters, articles, magazines, news, blogs, and more is to transmit it digitally. There are so manu advantages to doing this, and disadvantages too.

Every reader must have a device that can read your digital articles. On print, all they need is their eyes. Those come cheap (realatively speaking.) Is it fair to expect everyone to have their own "Kindel" or similar device to be able to read a magazine or newspaper? Sure it is. Life's not fair. Their are always librarys right?

Have a reader built in to all cell phones is inevitable. Many phones can already read HTML and surf the internet. Who wants to read a book on that small of a screen? You can do it, but who wants to right? I can if I have to.

Imaganie that everyone has access to some kind of reader, all they have to do is go to the store, browse the "magazine" and "book" shelves for what they want. Find it and download it right their in the store. Users could hook up to a port right there or a wifi hotspot, enter in a store code, etc. and they just bought the book/magazine from that store. Many kindle books are sold at a reduced rate compared to the print edition because there is no cost in printing. Great deal for the buyer and it reduces the use on our natural resources. Peraps though, (playing devils advocate here) that it will increase our demand on energy. But perhaps it will take even less energy to download the files and power our digital readers than it will to cultivate the paper, process it, print it and dispose of it when we are finished reading. Hmm, something to think about any way.

Do you have children in school? Are you a college student? Do you have several giant heavy books? Do they cost every year? What do they cost a school system to maintain and to keep up to date? What is the cost to a school to buy a reader every year, give it to a student to use for a few years and download their books into the reader. Now the student has one book to carry around, to rememebr, to keep up with, and to maintain. Need the latest version of the book? Download it. What do you do with the old version? Delete it. Where does the waste go? There is no waste.

Is this a different idea? Sure. Would it take some time to get used to? Absolutley. Is it a good idea? I think it warrants taking a look at any way.

What do you think? Is going digital a good idea for a school system? Do you already pay book fees at your school? Do they cost as much as a new kindle stretched our over a few years (2 or 3)? Would you be willing to try it? Why would this be a bad/good idea?

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