A pretty unlikely early adopter

Clay Shirky just got some interesting ink (to use a trad media term) in the Guardian UK, which compares him visually to Michael Stipe of REM and quotes him re old media: “2009 is going to be a bloodbath,” albeit one that “may produce greater industry clarity.” [Read it here.]

The steady loss of advertising revenue, accelerated by the recession, has normalised the idea that it’s acceptable to move to the web. Even if we have the shallowest recession and advertising comes back as it inevitably does, more of it will go to the web. I think that’s it for newspapers. What we saw happen to the Christian Science Monitor [the international paper shifted its daily news operation online] is going to happen three or four dozen times (globally) in the next year. The 500-year-old accident of economics occasioned by the printing press – high upfront cost and filtering happening at the source of publication – is over. But will the New York Times still exist on paper? Of course, because people will hit the print button.

Author: Jon Lebkowsky

Co-wrangler of Plutopia News Network, cohost Radio Free Plutopia. Podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. Former editor/publisher, FringeWare Review; associate editor at bOING bOING and Factsheet Five; writer at Mondo 2000, 21C, Wired, Whole Earth Review, Austin Chronicle; sub-editor at Millennium Whole Earth Catalog; blogger at Worldchanging. Digital culture maven, podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. On The WELL, Cohost of VC (virtual communities), Media, and Civil War (.ind) conferences.

One thought on “A pretty unlikely early adopter”

  1. john:

    Perhaps this is a story of “death by ink”?

    Good reminder that when habits collide with economic reality, reality wins every time. Five years ago the writing was on the way yet no one was “reading” it.

    Morale of the story?
    The missing ink?
    Ink today, gone tomorrow?
    Or just, listen to your customer or die!


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