print journalism is going through a wrenching transformation, and its future is in doubt. Over the past two decades, newspaper readership in the United States has plummeted. After peaking in 1984, at 63 million copies, the daily circulation of American papers fell steadily at a rate of about 1 percent a year until 2004 when it hit 55 million. Since then, the pace of the decline has accelerated. Circulation fell by more than 2 percent in 2005 and by about 3 percent in 2006.A print newspaper is a "bundle" of services but:
When a newspaper moves online, the bundle falls apart. Readers don’t flip through a mix of stories, advertisements, and other bits of content. They go directly to a particular story that interests them, often ignoring everything else.This, it is sometimes argued, is promoting an "unbundling" of traditional newspaper services, with some becoming free on the Internet, and other more specialised services being paid for, yet users do not want to pay online, and:
few newspapers, other than specialized ones like the Wall Street Journal, are able to charge anything for their content online, the success of a story as a product is judged by the advertising revenues it generates. Advertisers no longer have to pay to appear in a bundle.Neither the first article, nor Clay Shirky's followup, which argues that What Newspapers and Journalism Need Now: Experimentation, Not Nostalgia, really offers a clear prediction of the future of investigative journalism, though Clay seems to see blogging filling this role [?] ;).
If you take as a given that academic publishing must change to meet the new realities of the Internet economy (i do), which parts will become essentially free goods, and which parts will continue to require a high level of professional competence. Even more importantly, assuming some of these services can’t be easily replaced, what are the new economic models that will provide the required compensation for them?My answers really haven't changed much over recent years. I still see the "content" of tertiary education (textbooks and lectures typically in the current system) becoming free, or at least dirt cheap. See "Gatekeepers, Open Courseware and the future of the University". That others have joined MIT since 2004 just reinforces this view. Nichthus will ask: How will such content be financed? Basically I suspect long term through either advertising or cheap prices and high volume (a sort of iTunes University ;-)
Can you tease out an example of how publishing will change?
Wireless phones, which didn't exist 20 years ago, have changed not only the way people communicate but also the way they live. People are going to read, and they're going to read paper for the rest of our lifetimes. But I'm convinced that different distribution for content will change the way we live. We have entered the digital world. It's not like we're just stepping our toe into it. The Bible Experience audio Bible was the best-selling Bible of 2007.
I think we can make some predictions today for how further distribution changes will alter the way we live our Christian life. The spiritual journey many of us have will be changed by the Internet and digital technology. But I'd like a little more time in this discovery process before I can vocalize how.
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Now, as well as not reading the WSJ, I also do not read this sort of Magazine. The mags I do read I scan, when I meet a full page of text, like this, I scan it for nuggets and then flip on - incidentally forwards, since I read mags, like Hebrew Bibles from right-to-left ;) If this Bible's intended audience read mags the way I do, they won't get quite (what I'd assume) the intended effect of
the opening of Joshua! Andrew links this to the Samuel
The Bible Illuminated is an example of a range of classic texts that are attracting new audiences through modern methods of storytelling.The diary of Samuel Pepys has been turned into a blog, with daily entries corresponding to the 17th-century original, at www.pepysdiary.com. The creator, British actor Phil Gyford, says the site gets around 35,000 unique visitors each month. "I thought I'd like to read the diaries, but the 10 volumes were a daunting prospect,"he says. Transmitting it as a blog "seemed obvious," he says.Now, it seems to me too, "obvious" that Pepys diary would make a good blog, the form and medium "fit". But I am not convinced that either the new Swedish Bible Magazine, or the earlier Teenage Mag versions, do fit form and medium to the content and genres of the Bible. Now, Joshua is not a good text for my argument, since narrative can perhaps be effectively transposed into very different forms and still "work", but imagine one of Paul's letters... One big glossy picture, and one page of Pauline prose... Yawn! As you know I prefer the audio route... (to check it out try some of the recent Romans from PodBible).
Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parceque je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte." Pascal, Lettres provinciales, 16, Dec.14,1656.It is a cliche among preachers too that 'less is more', to speak shorter takes more preparation but is usually more effective. There is a virtue in brevity.
Scholarly and scientific journals differ from many other sorts of publications. Authors are not paid - in some cases, they pay in the form of per-article fees or fees for color illustrations and extra content. Articles are reviewed by other academics who determine if they should be published; these reviewers are also not paid. The work that people do as researchers, writers, and reviewers is effectively subsidized by whatever institution supports these people as faculty, staff, or students. In the case of pay-for-access journals, the same institutions that indirectly pay for important labor on a journal also must pay the for-profit company that runs the journal in order to gain exclusive access (that is, access not available to the public) to the final outcome. This access doesn’t typically come in the form of a print journal these days, of course.I like it! Traditional "for profit" scholarly articles and books are not "publications", but "anti-publications" since they artificially limit their readership.
This process is one that I characterize as anti-publication.
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