Digital and paperless continue to dominate the media marketplace not only with the plethora of e-reading devices hitting the marketplace, but also the number of newspapers moving online. Four Michigan newspapers, a Seattle newspaper, a Denver newspaper all became news without the paper in the blink of an eye.
Alongside that, Samsung’s planned unveiling of its e-reader, Papyrus, set to hit the market in a few months is just the newest in a long line of its kind. Interesting how they’ve chosen an ancient name for a digital device. Meanwhile, Sony, Phillips, and Fujitsu all have similar products. Amazon is on Kindle 2 with winning reviews for being most like traditional media with its improved page turning and other features.
Early adopters are devoted to following and debating the merits of new e-reader technology. One e-reader requires USB access, another is wireless, some don’t support popular formats. Some are easy on the eyes while others are ugly. And readers aren’t just readers. They get points for also being phones, music players, organizers and shopping devices all in the palm of your hands. Apple even has a reading application called Kindle for iPhone. The readership is divided between those who love digital and those who want to preserve the printed version.
We envision the next wave being digital devices, or at the very least apps, tailored specifically to newspapers. We imagine them to have names such as the “e-Town Crier,” not to be confused with e-tongue crier which is what you are when you’ve eaten a very hot pepper.
But we’re also conflicted about losing our newspaper. Monetizing and other concerns aside, digital readers leave a big vacant hole in all the places where our newspapers come in handy. You couldn’t really use the Kindle as kindling for your wood burning stove, could you? Fish and gift wrapping possibilities for e-readers are also somewhat limited. Then there is the case of the new puppy. Paper training. Is there an app for that?