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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Die, magazines, Die! 

mediabistro.com: Articles: The Internet Tail Will Come to Wag the Magazine Dog

I was prepared to hate this Jesse Kornbluth piece, but ended up finding a thoughtful meditation on the future of magazines. I don't agree with his conclusions, or his feeling that the magazine as a form ..."is a beautifully designed, artfully constructed monument to the Analog God. An artifact. A time-capsule. A collectible."

And I don't think that if, as he predicts, magazines might one day be promotions for web sites (instead of the other way around), that would be a bad thing.

Kornbluth notes, as have so many others, that the Wall Street Journal's web operation is more profitable than its print operation, as if that were some sort of proof of concept of the death of print media. But is the WSJ's web operation fully loaded with editorial costs? I doubt it. Without the cost of creating great editorial, it's easy for a web site to be profitable--look at Yahoo and Google, which don't create much on their own. (It would be interesting to see an analysis of Yahoo's financials with Yahoo having to pay to create all of its own content).

I also continue to believe that a magazine is more than ink on glossy paper. It's an organizing principle, one that has been co-opted by TV newsmagazines and most websites.

Finally, I believe Jesse Kornbluth runs a fine website. If you haven't, you should subscribe to Head Butler for his daily recommendations on media (much of it print).

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Friday, May 06, 2005

Dept. of Useless Research 

HOW U.S. CONSUMERS SPEND THEIR TIME

The American Time Use Study, our government's first comprehensive time study, was conducted in 2003 based on interviews with 21,000 people.

They apparently forgot to ask much about the Internet, and couldn't track multi-tasking among various media.

Nice use of tax money to create useless data points. They claim they'll get it right next time.

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Mother's Day 

I haven't blogged this week, though I've got a backlog of things I'd like to comment on. But first, a Mother's Day wish to you all.

My mother, who is fully engaged with rheumatoid arthritis, was recovering from foot surgery in a critical care rehab facility, when she fell last Sunday and cracked open her head. By the time she was transported to the emergency room, she was in seizure and not breathing. It was touch and go for a few days.

But my mother is one tough lady, and this morning, she's awake, talking, recovering her memory, and off of life support. She's focused on this Sunday, not because it's Mother's Day, but because it's her granddaughter Gwendolyn's birthday.

The ICU doctors and nurses think of her as their miracle. So do I.

This Sunday is a gift for our family. My mother will be there (propped in her hospital bed), and she'll be celebrating the birthday of my daughter (10 years old!) Her sisters, my aunts, will be there. My sister will be there. So will my lovely wife, daughter and son. It will be a good day.

If your Mother is still with you, tell her that you love her, as many times as you can. I wish you and yours a very happy Mother's Day.

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