Monday, April 02, 2007

Steve Gillmor’s GestureLab » The last picture show

I get a dose of Infoworld in my Inbox every morning, but don't always find the time to follow up on more than a headline or two. My paper ComputerWorld seems a lot thinner than it used to be too. I send stacks of industry magazines, largely unopened to a extension school teacher who hands them out in his "Intro to DP" class. So, they don't go to waste, but I'm thinking of canceling all paper subscriptions this year anyway. By the time the paper shows up I've read everything of interest, sometimes from several points of view.

I have to wonder why more publishers couldn't see this coming, and why, seemingly, some STILL don't see it coming.

My theory is that paper publishing has always been a serious con-job. The advertisers had no way to know for certain how many "page-views" his ad got in the paper versions. Sales, keyed to some code that appeared in the paper or a coupon, etc could serve a SOME indication of effectiveness, but then just a few people seeing such an ad could spread the word to dozens who hadn't if it was a really good deal, warping the statistics.

Even with cheating, page-views and click-throughs on the web have to be a lot more accurate and can easily be tied to an actual sale (or failure to sell). The jig is up for paper.

Somewhere I read that CNet loaded up on floorspace and office furniture just prior to 2000. What were they thinking!?

It used to be that there was a clear line of demarcation between enterprise hardware and software and the consumer technology space (talking both pre and post PC era). Now anyone can set up a data-center, and anyone can play journalist and blog about it. So in addition to the meltdown in print journalism, there is a smaller (or is it larger?) flattening of the tech world around plug-and-play consumer devices: Go to web site. Click desired components. Accept suggested network configuration. Proceed to check-out. Your data center will arrive by Fed-Ex tomorrow, or we can launch it for you right now in "the cloud" would you like a free domain name with that?

As crude as they were, I'll still miss the old ways.

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