Tag Archives: thoughts

Paper vs Digital Newspaper Readership/Subscribers – Just Some Thoughts

Why must everything always be an “either / or” thing?

Why can’t they just cater to both sides? Why must we have to pick one or the other? What if I use both formats interchangeably and would rather not ever have to make a reading choice based solely on the fact of print format being inaccessible? I mean, digital media is the newest reading format so obviously all the publishers must jump on that bandwagon. That’s completely understandable and very important to us now and in the future. But, in my opinion, that doesn’t (nor should it) make print any less important!

As someone who was born in the 80’s, went to school in 90’s, graduating high school year 2000, and university in 2004, I am equally comfortable with using both print and digital formats, and I think most others from my generation are likely to say the same thing. Maybe my generation is somewhat unique since we have a little bit of an advantage since we learned old-school stuff early on and then had to adapt to all the tech-based stuff once in high school. Confused? Okay, for example, I recall a penmanship class I had in either kindergarten or 1st grade, learning to write (and read) cursive, using onion paper, frantically trying to keep up with my heavily Swedish-accented teacher’s morning dictation with my eraser-less No.2, and being able to hand-write all my final papers (neatly!) up through 9th or 10th grade. Everything changed in high school when most of our papers were required to be typed on a computer (even though a lot of kids didn’t even have a family computer back then), pagers/beepers were banned because we were all either drug dealers or prostitutes (and cell phones are just so less distracting. Whatever), and we were expected to do actual research on the web, read/answer emails not just use it for spamming friends via AOL/ICQ Chatrooms and Instant Messaging – and take a typing/computer lit. class. of course, my preference for what I like more for reading different things…For example, when I buy a book I want it in print, unless it’s very, very short, article/essay-based, or maybe a haiku. I like household manuals to be printed, too, because I often doggy-ear pages and tend to make quick notes on pages and don’t have the patience for a note-taking program, but I’d rather have a digital copy for self-help or advise or whatnot. Also, I find that I read better (and quicker) with a hard-copy newspaper versus reading it digitally. But that’s just my personal preference if faced with the choice.

Just because sales in print have declined from what the longtime readers switching over to the online version, doesn’t mean print editions are obsolete, less desirable, or that the masses don’t want it anymore! I really wonder what percentage of their sales have, in fact, actually declined due to the decreasingly deplorable quality of journalism, instead aggregating from other outlets who got the info through yet another outlet (remind anyone of the childhood game of telephone??) … That said, most people just don’t want to pay for sub-par ”journalism” with lopsided “research” (or lack-thereof) which reads more like an Op-Ed piece than an investigative article, for instance. At least I know that I don’t which is why I finally cancelled my weekend subscription to a certain nationally reputed newspaper last year. But I’m digressing to a completely different topic, albeit an important one IMO…

 

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A terribly executed reply to an article on a popular forum that I luckily decided not to post *whew*

This is in reference to an article I read online regarding “Big Data” – Facebook, Google, Amazon, web advertising, second and third-party middlemen, and the whole general data-mine profiteering of personal information.

It’s too bad that weas the users, aren’t the ones to reap the financial benefits that Facebook, Google, etc. gets for mining our (“us” being the users) own personal info. We’d all be seriously loaded by now! Then again, if this were the case, said companies/corporations probably wouldn’t be anywhere close what they are today, or even exist for that matter, therefore probably not making the payout we’d collect not nearly as sweet as they currently receive. We just can’t win, I suppose. Hah.

 
OK, this is probably going to come off as a bit fruit-loopy and will undoubtedly be misconstrued in some way by some, but I’ll take my chances and spit it out. I’ve no shame – I keep telling myself that…

So, as most of us already know, the people (i.e. users) whose info is getting mined, collected and sold off by and to the “Big Data world” is what’s making these corps/companies so wealthy and/or is the entire reason for their existence in the first place! Meaning, many of them are absolutely nothing without us. Yet, even though all that data and info is originally and personally our own, we don’t get a dime of it. It seems that keeping touch with long-distance friends is what justifies this for some companies as though we can’t just pick up the phone or text those friends instead? But I digress from the point which I am at long last trying to make… This bizarre “relationship” we have with web services and “social networking sites” (need I really name who they are?) where we are choosing to essentially hand over our own lives, and freely, for them to sell and churn out a profit, is akin to a prostitute working for a pimp. Not to mention the slight feeling of being repeatedly violated more and more (in another way; not in a sexually/bodily way, of course!). There’s definitely some parallel between these two “industries” in that exploitation is what they bank on, albeit the drug addiction, mental and physical health issues, and murder which normally goes with the former business (ie being whored out and virtually owned by evil pimp for his own income).
 
I know, I know, it’s a just a wee far-fetched and an utterly crap analogy that is figuratively and quite literally stupid/laughable! But I can’t help it that this metaphor continues to pop into my head more and more lately. Until I get a better analogy, this is where it’ll stay. Besides, getting this off my chest and typed out (even if less than mediocre) was necessary and I feel better already. Plus I was bored and daydreaming when I start writing this.