There are many people within publishing who argue that printed material is obsolete. Print is more expensive, less sustainable and nowhere near as convenient as online publications. So logically, how could print not be dead?
In the article “Print is dead?”, Kristina Loring argues that companies who invest in their online ventures are making the right choice, but value still remains in traditional publications because they offer a unique experience. The content is not necessarily as important as the context which I am receiving it. The web provides a daily smattering of news to be sifted through. It’s impossible to avoid reading news just by surfing the web and visiting social networking sites. For big name news companies, this may mark the end of their print publications, but it also poses an exciting new venture in online publications. Kristina mentions Vanity Fair Italy’s site in her article as a prime example of a company that understands the importance of web presence. Companies similar to Vanity Fair, ones that offer the most efficient and intuitive online resources will reign. Companies that fail to adapt and support their online endeavors may be doomed to fizzle out all together.
The people who continue to demand printed material are those interested in something unique. I still value in holding a magazine and feeling the pages. The magazines that can provide the most visually dynamic and creative pieces will be the ones who can maintain my support. In reality, a small scale company can do this the most effectively because they are providing for a smaller, more specific target. Perhaps it’s that on the web nothing appears personal. The next site always beckons, one click away. Almost oppositely, a small company can produce printed material that feels special. Once in hand, I can invest time to flip through the pages. It’s a more intimate experience. An experience very different than anything I receive on the web.
I do agree that recently the lines between virtual and physical have begun to blur with the introduction of tablets and e-readers. With each update, these devices attempt to better replicate the intimate, book-like relation of print. Luckily they still haven’t come close. Personally I don’t own a tablet or an iphone so much of the hype over publication apps is irrelevant to me. But from what I have seen multimedia apps appear to have plenty of potential for companies to cash in on. It seems that tablets are becoming the focus of technology. It’s difficult for me to predict exactly how these devices will affect printed material, but it looks like it’s going to be a tough fight.