A few articles that I have read lately have prompted a follow-up to my post “Print: Here today, gone tomorrow?” This is that follow-up (cue the Law & Order sound effect). Seriously though, the first was my opinion on its own and the articles I have read lately support that view and are incorporated into this post. Washington Post authors Geoffrey E. Fowler and Marie C. Baca examine the e-reader trend in their article “The ABC’s of E-Reading” http://bit.ly/bpJkcp. Their article positions e-readers as an extension of a reader’s habits and not a replacement for the printed word. Although it shows that more people are reading because of e-readers, it takes great care to point out why the printed word (books, etc.) will always exist alongside any new trends. You can read a book during a plane’s take-off and landing, researcher Jakob Nielsen shows that it takes e-reader users longer to read a book because of the screen technology, there are no page numbers (not as accessible to book clubs and students because of this) and digital locks on e-books prohibit sharing. Overall the authors present a nice unbiased view, supporting both its benefits and its drawbacks. I have to disagree on their argument in support of its portability though. It is an electronic device, and if you drop it in water or get something in it you will lose your data. Books are much more durable.
Another article, “Newspapers gone by 2022, says futurist” by Lara Sinclair http://bit.ly/dCWtPO discusses how news is becoming more and more portable and news via mobile and other technological devices is the news-on-the-go of the future. She has a very one-sided article solely because of the strong viewpoint that traditional newspapers will disappear. This is countered in the next article I read “Seven Reasons Print Will Make a Comeback in 2011″ by Joe Pulizzi http://bit.ly/dnfkD6. He cites a journalist who states that it is harder and harder to get people to commit to interviews for online articles and easier to get them to commit to something that will be printed. Also, the author states that people still find print more credible than anything on the web. The main point of his article is that direct mail, custom print magazines and newsletters will become popular marketing tools again, simply because there are so few of them now that they will stick out and draw attention. His seven reasons for the comeback of print are: less print mail = more attention paid and fewer print mail leaves room for content marketing, focus on customer retention, no audience development costs, what’s old is new again, print is more challenging to readers, it still excites people and more and more people unplug from time to time. All of these are good arguments in support of my view that print is here to stay.