Faith of My Fathers, by John McCain
Print 2.0: Embrace

Print 2.0: Overview

Web 2.0 is all the rage. Everyone wants to talk about how the new generation of online applications will change everything. I tend to agree, but I also think it’s important to look at what should be done on the print front to better leverage it as a platform.

First of all, let me note that although I’ve been outspoken about the decline of the newspaper and magazine industries, I strongly believe both print products will survive well beyond my lifetime. Look at the railroad industry. It wasn’t that long ago that trains were the preferred means of travel in the United States. Then the airplane arrived on the scene. Did that kill the railroad industry? No, but it changed it quite a bit. Trains still run today, mostly for the purpose of carrying freight from one point to another, but they didn’t disappear…the industry evolved into what it can do best, and so will newspapers and magazines.

The most important consideration for print is that it needs to be reoriented to embrace, complement and connect to online content. What does that mean? To answer that question, let me start by saying what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that you simply insert notes “to read and comment on this article on our website, click here” all over the paper/magazine. It also doesn’t mean that you apply the same old rules of editorial control on something as dynamic as your columnists blogs; I discovered that the editor posts for my local paper’s “live blog from the pressbox” at the Colts game has to be processed by his editor before appearing, delaying them unnecessarily and killing the whole “live” aspect of the idea.

Rather than cramming this into one long article, I’ll follow this post up with three others focusing on embrace, complement and connect.


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