Monday, March 23, 2009

Better Living Through New Media


When I was a Communications/Journalism major, I could not foresee the future as it is now... if so, I would have been more excited about my craft.

My wife would tell you that she's about to kill me if I don't get rid of some of these magazines I have around this house. I'm still a big magazine reader. I subscribe to Vibe, GQ, Esquire, Jet, Essence, Details, Giant, Jazztimes, and Philly Sports. Every month, the mailman sends a flood of these magazines to my house and I read them and leave them laying around, much to my wife's dismay. Ever so often I have to bring a big green hefty trash bag up out of the basement and load all of my magazines into them to be dispersed and to make room for the next batch that are coming the next month. A lot of the magazines that I like (previously mentioned and others) have online sites. You have to pay to actually read the content so, I'll be reading my magazines a little while longer.

My books are the next matter. I have three bookshelves loaded with books and a number of older books I have purchased are in the basement. It has been "suggested" that I donate some of my older books to the Free Library or a book drive but, I can't part with my literary treasures. The last time I was at Borders book store, I was shown something called the "electronic book" by Sony. It is an electronic device that can "call up" the latest best seller from a website and enable you to read it while in transit, without actually having a paperback or hardback in your hands and you don't have to twirl pages. I don't know if that will actually catch on yet... I see it as unnecessary. Aren't we, as a society, leisurely (lazy) enough? Can't we just pick up a book and turn a page? But, maybe that's just me.

Did you notice, I didn't mention newspapers? If you haven't noticed, a lot of newspapers are going out of business around the country. This was happening before the present economic collapse. Much like magazines and books, I used to buy The Philadelphia Daily News religiously every morning. It was thirty-five cents... then, it went up to fifty cents... and a year later, it went up to seventy-five cents. I discovered that I could get my news for free on the internet from a number of sites... USA Today.com, CNN.com, Philly News.com (which is actually The Philadelphia Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer's online news service). So, why shell out seventy-five cents, right? Well, a lot of people are probably asking the same thing... which is why these papers have cut their staffs in half and have been concentrating more on their online services and the advertising that keeps them free. To make matters worse, all of the papers are taking a hit from "free" papers like Metro, which is at every transit station, and City Paper, an alternative and hip free newspaper that is on all of the college campuses in the city and also at every transit station.

I don't know what's happening right now but, there seems to be in a flux of new ideas and inventions just for the sake of invention flooding the market right now. Despite the availability of news on the internet, I still like the feel of actually thumbing through a newspaper every now and then and having the personal touch of news that was written by local reporters from my hometown about my hometown. I would hate to see all of these guys suddenly out of work. I will go on the line and say that by the end of this century, all news will be retrieved from the internet on computers and this will include magazines and books. You'll just put in your credit or debit card number, they'll take your cash, and you'll read whatever it is you want. It's practically that way already. We've already seen this with music. Can movies be that far behind?

So-called music stores are also becoming extinct. Will going to the movies join them? If so, will the newsstand and magazine rack also go the way of the dinosaur? I'm not trying to sound like an alarmist but, this future sounds and feels very empty to me. I'm not sure what to think about it but, I don't feel altogether good about it either.

22 comments:

James Perkins said...

It's a shame what's happening to newspapers.

Simon Bastion said...

I LEARNED HOW TO READ by reading newspapers back in Jamaica. I still read the newspaper despite the fact that I can get my news over the internet.

Sean said...

Great Post Keith!

Toni said...

I get practically all of my news from the web, but I still love to hold and thumb through my magazines.

Sunflower said...

I haven't bought a newspaper in about seven years..It's a shame I know.

Jazzy said...

I don't feel that good about it either man, but what can you do?
Technology moves on.

Tate2 said...

Better livin through technology!

Swaggie said...

I've seen the electronic book that you talk about..it's pretty cool lookin but also pretty expensive.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

You sure read a lot of magazines holmes..maybe that's why you always have fresh blog topics damn near every day.

Lisa said...

I still buy a Newspaper..but I admit ,not as much as I used to.

Vanessa said...

I love my magazines...The glossy photo spreads and all....A computer screen just can't duplicate that!

Halo said...

Interesting perspectives Keith..but technology is moving us away from paper media..slowly but
surely.

Angie B. said...

Encylcopedias are damn near extinct too, thanks to Wikepedia and sites like that.

Captain Jack said...

I get my news from my Blackberry and my laptop...My magazine content too..though I admit..sometimes I like to actually buy the Magazine..because it still has more content than the
internet.

Mista Jaycee said...

I feel the same way now. The LA Times is but a shell of itself.
Jaycee

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

I have so many books that some are stacked on top of my bookshelf. My dream was to always have a built in bookshelf. I'm still having that dream. lol That's why I can't depart from my books. But I haven't been bought any books in 4 months. I check them out at the library. I've read 14 books within 4 months.

I've seen the electronic book. It's nice but I rather have the book.

ninamm said...

There's still something about a holding a newspaper to me...I'll never shake that. I've tried and tried to read my news on the web, but I much prefer a Washington Post between my two hands.

I'm also a magazine hog, but it's mostly girly stuff. *giggle*

SLC said...

I think magazines will survive. Sorry to mention this, but I have yet to visit a friends house and see a laptop next to the toilet. Only a magazine or a book for those times when you're not in a hurry.

Also I can't imagine not having the option to spend a couple of hours in the bookstore with my kids, while downing some great coffee or tea.

Can't beat the atmosphere.

Keith said...

@SLC- I hear ya..You are so right about the bookstore experience.

CareyCarey said...

Okay Keith, you hit us with a lot. First, can't afford the readee thangamajangee ...that's out. Throwing out old books is like throwing out my first little league trophy. It's at mom's house but she better not! News papers are good for the times you don't want to be bothered by other people. You just flip up the paper and tell the world to walk on by. See, with a book they might come by and ask you what you are reading ...it happens. My wife was a clean freak and I always had to tell her that "I live here". Dang, a brother couldn't even go to the bathroom without "MY" stuff being put away.

Playin' yo' game baby. You keep writing and I'll keep reading.

ShellyShell said...

I absolutely love to read! I love Newspapers and hate to read off the internet. I read the Wall St. Journal everyday. I get the New York Times delivered Fri-Sun. I get a ton of magazines...Money, Budget Travel,New York,Newsweek,ESPN,Entrepeneur,Oprah,Women's Health and Runner's World!

I had an argument with my coworker the other day about the Sony Reader.I just finished a book and asked her if she wanted to read it and she said I'm done with books and proceeded to tell me all about it and tell me I should get it cause I read a lot. I told her I've seen it but I'll pass and she gets all pissy! I was like I'm not spending $300 on that shyt. I can buy a pair of fly azz stilettos for that...lol!

Keith said...

@Shelly Shell- lolololol :) I hear that...Go get them stillettos girl!
(smile)




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