Fairwell Dead Tree Editions… We’ll Miss You

On July 9, 2008

The end of print media is coming and it will be here a whole lot sooner than we might expect.

The onslaught on its way from all sides.

With its slick interface, caching ability and ease of reading, the TimesReader (now available for both pc and mac) doesn’t help the dead tree edition’s cause one bit.

RSS readers are changing the way many of us consume the news and add-ons like Google Gears allow us to take our feeds "off-line" for reading anywhere, any time.

Then there are dedicated ebook readers like the SonyReader or Amazon Kindle. I know I’m not the norm, but I actually PREFER reading on such a device these days. I love having a large selection of reading material with me all the time. Add to that the fact that the Kindle is also a great device to get the news each morning and you begin to see the trend.

But all of these devices have nice big screens. How can something with a screen the size of an iPhone possibly contribute to the demise of printed media? (This is, after all, an iPhone site.)

The answer is simple- accessibility.

An experience I had last night made this point clearer than ever for me. Let me explain.

I am currently vacationing in the mountains. I was referred to an article the latest MacLife but unfortunately the August edition is at home and I’m not. Turns out, as a subscriber I get the  digital edition too.

So I fired up my MacBook Air and, within a few minutes, was reading the article I had wanted. Nice.

Then I got to thinking- how would the digital edition look on the iPhone? Turns out- the digital edition of MacLife looks great on an iPhone. It loads quickly, looks great and it is quite readable with the phone in portrait and looks even better in landscape.

No, a 3 1/2 inch screen can never compete with a screen the size of the Kindle or a full fledged newspaper. BUT it has one thing going for it that those others don’t- it is ALWAYS with you.

And that is a HUGE advantage.

Waiting for the doctor? Pull up the NYTimes website and see what Thomas Friedman has to say today. On a bus? Catch up on your RSS feeds. Sitting with a few minutes free? Read the latest edition of MacLife.

The list goes on and on.

The iPhone may not be the perfect device for reading but it works well enough and BUT by virtue of being with you al the time it has the potential to convert the most devoted ‘dead tree" advocate into a believer.

Yup- Printed media is dead. Done. Finis. Kanyetz. Nigmar. Its over Johnny…

And the iPhone is yet another nail is the coffin.

Watch for an interview with Michael Zapp of ZappTek and the upcoming Legends, one of the first ereaders for iPhone, later today.