Maybe Prince was on to something when he recently proclaimed the Internet is dead .
Steve Rubel, in an Advertising Age article this week , suggests we prepare for "the end of the web as we know it."
"It's hard to believe but soon, if not already the web is going to become a lot less interesting to consumers -- and just as it approaches its 20th birthday," Rubel wrote.
It's taken those 20 years for the Internet to mature from a mostly PC-based application to now going mobile, which Rubel says means consumers' use of the web becomes more "mission-oriented." Content producers need to get creative, he says. They can't simply repurpose the same content for different platforms. We all know by now that newspapers didn't succeed when they made the same content available on the web as in print.
And newspapers are still struggling to find revenue-generating means of getting their content to consumers via mobile devices.
"It’s not much of a revolution yet, but what is increasingly apparent is that mobile devices have the potential to offer the journalism business that rare and beautiful thing: a second chance—another shot at monetizing digital content and ensuring future profitability that was missed during the advent of Web 1.0," Curtis Brainard wrote in the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review .
Brainard also wrote that many of the media executives he spoke to were hesitant about the future of mobile devices and e-readers.
"They see an opportunity, but don't know how bit it is, and most are skeptical that subscription and advertising revenues will ever return to pre-Internet levels," he wrote.
One Australian newspaper recently announced its attempt to expand to mobile devices.
The Sydney Morning Herald will offer an iPad-print subscription, Damon Kiesow of PoynterOnline reported this week. The Herald will be offering a weekday PDF tablet edition and a paper, home-delivered weekend edition.
The hybrid subscription will cost $4.50 (AU) a week (that's just under $4 USD), once the app is available on the iTunes store, according to the newspaper's Web site .
It's yet to be seen whether hybrid subscriptions are the answer to the news industry's declining revenues. But the message from industry insiders this week is clear: they must adapt to the evolving technologies.
"The circulation levels and ad dollars of yesterday may be gone for good, but there are real opportunities to reclaim control of journalism’s financial future. Second chances are rare, and if we miss this opportunity to capitalize on digital content, we may not get a third," Brainard concluded.
Photo by Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.
to Dr Oliver Sacks
Here is what I want to ask you:
Question: Will future MRI scan tests and research on testees reading words on paper surfaces, compared to people reading
the same texts on screens, inside the MRI unit, show that reading on paper lights up different regions of the brain compared to
reading off screens.....and will these regions be seen to be SUPERIOR for
1. retention of info
2. processing of info
3. analysis of info
4. critical thinking about the info
THAT's all....... I have been researching this HUNCH for 3 years, and am in touch with pioneering PHDS like
Anne Mangen in Norway and Maryanne Wolf at Tufts and Gary Small at UCLA...... and do you think these MRI scan tests will happen soon?
Reading" on screens is changing the picture
by Danny Bloom
TAIPEI -- As digital advances continue to transform the global media world day
by day, a Taiwanese company with strong Boston connections, E Ink
Holdings, has taken on an
important role in the process with E Ink, which can render text on
e-reader screens such as the Kindle and the Nook. The original goal of
creating e-books, of course, was to make the experience of reading on
electronic devices as similar as possible to that of printed books. In many
respects, the goal has been reached.
With about 90 percent of all e-readers using E
Ink now, the digital
reading revolution is going to have a major impact within business and
educational circles worldwide, and it behooves us all to ponder just
where we are headed as screens replace paper.
An important question that academics and researchers in Taiwan need to
answer, at the same time as the digital revolution gathers speed here, is this:
read differently on the computer screen from how we
read on the
printed page? And if so, how differently, and in what ways?
With two new books about reading and the Internet making waves worldwide
this summer -- William Powers' "Hamlet's BlackBerry" and Nicholas Carr's
"The Shallows" -- academics around the country are soon going to
be talking about the pros and cons of
reading on paper versus reading on screens for some time to come.
A pioneering education specialist in Norway, Anne Mangen, listed in an academic
paper published in 2008 a few reasons
why reading on paper
and reading on a screen are different. She said, among other things, that:
* Reading on a screen is not as rewarding -- or effective -- as
reading printed words on paper.
* The process of reading on a screen involves so much physical
manipulation of the
computer that it interferes with our ability to focus on and
appreciate what we're reading.
* Online text moves up and down the
screen and lacks physical dimension, robbing us of a feeling of
* The visual happenings on a compter screen and our physical interaction
with the entire device and its set ip can be distracting. All of these things
tax human cognition and concentration in a way that a book or
newspaper or magazine does not.
* The experience of reading a book or a newspaper or a magazine is
both a story experience and a tactile one.
We still do not know just how different reading on paper is
from reading on a screen, but the public discussions
are getting interesting -- and heated.
Some pundits believe that future MRI scans of the brain when people are
tested while reading on paper and reading on screens will help
us understand the issues better. This work is being done now in
a few research labs around the world.
A doctor in Boston told me that he feels that "scanning" the brain
while reading on paper or off a screen, either through MRI or PET-scans,
won't be able to answer any questions about the better experience or health of a
"We don't know enough about the brain to tell
which would be better, even if different areas of the brain are
active," he said.
When I asked a noted writer on technology in New York about this, he replied:
"A good test would be not telling the subjects the real purpose of the
experiment, letting some read and comment on a text displayed in a
printed book or on a computer screen or on a reader (e-ink or TFT),
and then let raters, also unaware of the real purpose, look for
differences in what people write after different modes."
Let the research begin. Because the results could better spell out
the future of screen-reading devices and what roles they will
play in our children's and grandchildren's lives.
[Danny Bloom is a 1971 graduate of Tufts