March 8, 2009

Keeping Up With The Times

Filed under: Digital Distribution — Robert John Ed @ 11:58 pm

This is going to sound very silly.  I never used to read the news.  It seemed like if it was big enough or important enough, it would find me.  That’s no longer good enough, and truthfully it was more the fact that I didn’t ever really read newspapers, it was always classic literature (an aside, I LOVE reading classic American literature, amongst other things).  Magazines always bored me as a kid, there wasn’t a lot of substance.  Sports Illustrated held my attention for some time, but eventually the internet came around and that was that as far as sports goes.  As I grow older, my perception of the importance of public events has really changed.  As  your responsibilities and holdings in the various institutions increase, so does your awareness and need to know what is happening.  Before coming back to school, I didn’t read newspapers often.  It has changed dramatically.

I now read the news as much if not more than various books (text and otherwise).  I still don’t pick up a newspaper though.  Everything newsworthy that gets through is via iPhone applications.  At first it was the New York Times and now USA Today and Bloomberg.  They all have free applications, all are slick and I can read them on my way into school on the bus.  Many days I wish the bus ride was longer in order to soak up big news days.  The Wall Street Journal doesn’t have an application, but they do have free online content, which I read through RSS (mostly about medical news).

What will happen to the newspapers?  No one can say for sure, but it’s pretty obvious something drastic will need to happen in order to build a viable model online and in RL.  Many people were saying this years ago, it was hardly a prescient idea, it was a slow train coming.  It’s quite interesting what will happen, because the public DOES want news and they do want it from credible sources.  But you can’t give everything away for free, so what will they do?  Frankly, I don’t know.  But I don’t want these institutions to go away, they are valuable resources.  Here’s the problem, I’m not paying for it right now and getting me to pay for it will be a tough sell (not that I wouldn’t, but going from nothing to something is the toughest sell).

Beyond all that, news sources for me are far different than they could have been a little bit ago.  I get a lot of news and sources of information via Twitter and my RSS.  The really smart people, fun people, interesting people to learn from are all self publishing.  Most of them do it for fun, a few for actual revenue.  This has been on my mind for some time and I’m not driving to any sort of singular point or idea, just trying to explain how I see things.  We do need credible sources, so how will we keep up with the Times when the Times can’t keep up?  It’s coming.




  1. It’s as if you were describing my life. I too have seen a recent paradigm shift in my news consumption. For me, it was initially finding MPR/NPR in the car on a long trip up north. Now, it’s the New York Times/Bloomberg/MPR/NPR iPhone apps in addition to NPR radio (pretty much the ONLY channel for me in the car now). I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Digg as one of my main news sources. C’mon, Digg has some credible news sources as well! :)

    Comment by Brian Haugen — March 12, 2009 @ 10:19 pm

  2. Really good point, I use digg for news, more fun stuff than anything, but it is a credible source for sure. And way more fun than the NYT or Bloomberg.

    Comment by Robert John Ed — March 12, 2009 @ 10:59 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: