Death of Print Media

Print media is dying. But the reasons may be a bit different than most people surmise. As I sat on my couch today reading the New York Times and watching football it occurred to me that the true source of the demise of print media might be a little more subtle.

I look back on my life B.K. (Before Kids) and I remember longingly my Saturday and Sunday mornings on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The routine: roll out of bed around 9am, grab the New York Times off my doorstep as I headed down the block to Good Enough To Eat. I didn’t bother to wait on the (inevitably) long lines for a table. I just sat down in the corner of the bar and nodded to the bartender. She knew what to do: coffee, fresh orange juice and a Lumber Jack.

And I’d sit and read the paper. Time seemed to slow down, those lazySingle Sheet Newspaper Cutters - Paper Cutter weekends, as I made my way through the various sections. Even then, I had the urge to share. If I came across an article I knew someone would like I would expertly tear – yes, there’s an art to tearing newsprint – the article out and fold it away in my pocket. Later, I would pop it in an envelope with a handwritten note saying “I thought you might find this interesting…” and send it off to a colleague, friend or relative.

So flash forward 10 years. Sitting on the couch in the basement on a Sunday, barely able to get through a few sections of the paper, I came across an interesting article – Resale Fees That Only Developers Could Love. I immediately thought I’d like to get some opinions on it from some Real Estate professionals I know. What goes through my head? Walk upstairs, look up the article online and then email/Share/Tweet it.

And that’s when it struck me. Here, truly, was the demise of print media. Not because it’s easier to get it online. Not because digital alternatives are equal or superior (they’re not). It’s because digital media makes it easy to do one very important thing: share.

So, as I tuck my trusty Levenger Newspaper Cutter back in my drawer, I mark in my mind the moment I realized that print media was, truly, dead.

(Note: Special thanks to @JulieBHunt who nudged me to write a blog from a tweet. If you’re interested in Enterprise technology, be sure to follow her on Twitter.)