There's a disturbing trend afoot -- particularly if you're a writer -- and it involves the print magazines sys admins and IT managers have relied on for years. Simply put, they're disappearing faster than beer at a frat party.
Although no one can be sure exactly why, there's little doubt that a lot of it has to do with the proliferation of IT news Web sites like this one, and topic aggregation services like Alltop that provide news and reviews in near real-time. As a study at the Pew Research Center notes, a full 40 percent of people get "most of their news" from the Internet.
In today's email, I received my latest copy of eWeek, a terrific magazine that's been around for years. It used to arrive as a thick publication printed on heavy, glossy paper. Now it's a scant 50 pages that consists largely of ads printed on paper thin enough to see through.
Don't get me wrong. eWeek is still a great magazine filled with wonderful articles but, like most print publications these days, it's a shadow of it's former self. Even the long-running column penned by "Spencer F. Katt" is drawing to a close because the author is leaving to join the world of consulting.
Indeed, eWeek isn't the only print mag changing to meet the times. Last spring, Linux Magazine changed to an online-only format and last month PC Magazine shut down entirely. For a real eye-opener about the state of the media at large, Twitter users can follow a feed provided by The Media Is Dying -- which chronicles the comings and goings of columnists, reporters, writers, and other media personnel.
Though I'm sure it's inevitable, I'm always sad to see print magazines come to an end. I love hyper-linked articles that make it easy to explore the concepts contained in an online article, but nothing beats holding a paper mag in my hand while I relax on the couch.
What about you? Are you sad to see industry publications go online or away completely? Will it affect the way you go about gathering the information you need to do your job, or will you just be acquiring knowledge a different way?