Wednesday, 16 March 2011

What is epublishing?

The dying world of print journalism is making its way painfully to the web

There is a certain Darwinian aspect to how journalism and print publishing are being rationalized and recast by the birth of new web based media, as they morph old print forms into new media versions of themselves. The evidence is everywhere. First is the development of profitable publishing on the web itself. Many previous print publications are making the transition with a survival of the fittest mentality as they embrace web distribution and let their print empires (mostly chains of newspapers) wither away.

Genetic advantages
They have some genetic advantage it seems because they have been instinctively in the web game for the years of poor profits and low returns that are now anxiously turning the fiscal corner. They had the right stuff to hang on. They have developed new web survival tools. Local broadcasters have also moved from the airwaves to on-line and expanded their market for local stations worldwide.

The transition from desk top computers to hand held smart phones and now tablets and simultaneously the growth of ubiquitous wireless reception is also changing the way new web based media are distributed. This creates the mobility needed to fully replace paper distribution and capture the time of the readers when and where they want their content. It can also shift broadcasting to narrow casting markets. It also extends a broadcaster’s reach endlessly.

Easy software
The third aspect of this evolution is software driven. It is simply painless to build and distribute this page you are reading. Editorial software that is as easy to use and distribute will generate more and better content at lower cost and the world of personal journalism will begin the interface of established publishers already on the web and generate content.

It will be all paid for by the attention it gets from readers. If I produce content that is useful someone  somewhere will want it for a fee back to me or through sponsored link or brokerage something like the old news services of the old dying print world will spring up.

Advertisers are also trying to understand and make sense of the web’s development as a distribution and cross promotion medium. Already we see Google ads placed on content by matching the needs of the advertisers as they troll for definable and therefore exploitable markets in the morass of web content. Now you can expect to experience the growth of full digital distribution of content.

© 2011 Tom Thorne All Rights Reserved

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