Old Media / New Media- Pros and Cons To Both

On September 4, 2008

One of my long-standing favorite tech magazines is going out. A few weeks ago Thaddeus Publishing announced that the next issue of Smartphone Pocket PC magazine would be its last. During the years when I swore by Windows Mobile devices PPC Mag was a key guide to the best devices and applications. I’m sad to see it go but understand the reasons offered in a blog post by publisher Hal Goldstein.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that on September 9th their new magazine iPhone Life magazine will be available by subscription and on newsstands nationwide. As Goldstein writes,

“People are excited about the iPhone and iPod touch for good reason. The iPhone’s vibrant screen, its fun intuitive interface, powerful Safari browser, automatic updates, and app store brilliantly solve many of the problems inherent in handheld computing. The iPhone is changing the way people use their phones, and we’re here to help them get the most out of it.”

The new issue covers news, reviews, profiles, tips, how-to’s, and more. Having had the privilege of writing a couple of the pieces in the issue I have already seen the final version and it is terrific. It does, however, highlight some of the pros and cons of “Old Media” vs. “New Media”.

As I was reading the magazine I got some excellent tips and was introduced to some accessories with which I was not previously familiar. BUT… although the turn-around-time for the issue was incredibly short, even in this small timeframe things have changed.

Case in point-
When I wrote one of the pieces I was using Jott as my main voicenote-taker. Since writing the pice reQall has, in my opinion, leapfrogged over Jott in pretty much every regard and has become my voicenote app of choice. In addition, Note2Self has been released and, for those times when 30 seconds isn’t enough, is a “must-have” in my opinion.

Reading the magazine I realized how much I have becomes used to getting information in real-time. Unfortunately, "old-media" can’t offer that. It isn’t, however, an all or nothing in either direction. Old media and new media each have their place.

Old Media- convenience, familiarity, ability to do into tons of depth and jump from article to article, no need for charging, they "keep", people still universally comfortable with the medium

New Media- up-to-date (even with the quick turnaround that iPhone Life had MUCH has already happened and/or changed since it went to print), easy to get only the content you want, unlimited content in a tiny, easy to carry format.

Point being- it isn’t one other the other but BOTH. To their credit, Thaddeus will also include a website for the magazine. In the meantime though, while I’ll be getting a subscription, most of my tech (and news) reading will be through realtime RSS feeds.