The Future of the Newspaper?

In response to

The Future of the Newspaper is as a 2.0 Platform

I am all for the future of the web. My professional future is all about the web; creating a more interactive information space.

But newspapers are physical objects, they are not just passive carriers of information.

You cannot skim the web like you can a large page of newsprint.

You cannot read on a laptop as easily as you can a a newspaper. A study I was involved with about 2 years ago found that people move, or change their position while reading, noticeably more when reading form paper media than from a laptop. It was quite a casual study of people reading in Starbucks, carried out over a month, but revealing. Have a look at the way people read next time you enjoy a cup.

Of course, eBooks will bridge the gap to a degree, but it will still lack the expanse that a paper offers, the real estate.

It all comes down to the quality of reading. Today we can zoom through the web with – among other things, our Hyperwords Firefox extension – but nothing beats reading a long, in-depth opinion piece in the International Herald Tribune on paper with good lighting. It is so much more suited for deep reading.

An exciting potential is of course when we have eInk of a quality resembling newsprint with foldable, large paper – as seen in countless Sci-Fi movies. This is one area I think Hollywood has got it right 🙂

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