Printed Newspaper Executives Visions of the Future

I frequently write about newspapers’ experience with the new medium because theirs has been the longest experience. The New York Times launched the world’s first online edition in 1974 with LexisNexis, followed by many magazines and other newspapers on that professional online service or competitors such as Dialog. Though I forget which printed periodical launched the first online edition aimed at consumers , but it probably was on an dial-up bulletin board service around 1980. Many newspapers and magazines launched online editions on CompuServe and Prodigy later that decade. And in 1995, The San Jose Mercury News became the world’s […]

Top 10 Magazine Digital Editions

More than 100 U.S. magazines, twice the number from a year ago, now count significant numbers of digital editions among their circulation figures, according to the auditing firm of BPA Worldwide. Here are the top ten as of December 2004: eWeek 65,000 among 400,100 circulations (16.2 percent) Computer Weekly 40,065 among 139,817 (28.7%) Microsoft Certified Professional 39,092 among 119,092 (32.8%) NASA Tech Briefs 31,179 among 190,428 (16.4%) Electronic Weekly 16,853 among 43,498 (38.7%) EDN 16,397 among 134,025 (12.2%) ECN 16,324 among 126,020 (13.0%) Computing 15,000 among 115,000 (13.0%) SD Times 13,997 among 51,481 (27.2%) Foreign Policy 13,804 among 103,589 (13.3%) […]

The Digital Edition Dirigibles

At the highest inhabitable level of the Empire State Building in New York City is something redolent of the University of Missouri’s new EmPRINT digital edition project. When the Empire State Building was designed in the late 1920s, architects gave its top floor a function that nowadays makes sense only in retrospect of their knowledge of what was then the highest technology in transportation media. The architects gave it a dirigible docking port. Read the history of aviation until 1930 and you might understand why the architects’ belived that lighter-than-air crafts were the transportation medium of the future. For nearly […]

Hitachi to Sell Unrollable E-Paper in 2006

Hitachi plans to begin selling a color-capable electronic paper in 2006. Rather than use organic light-emitting (OLED) diodes, the way that Philips’ e-paper does, Hitachi’s device will use a liquid crystal displays (LCD) 3-centimeters thick and equipped with a special panel that has doubles the noral light reflectivity of LCDs. Hitachi showed a 7-inch prototype, said the device is capable of showing an image bright enough for easy viewing without using a backlight, and can display a high-resolution image for several months on commercially available lithium ion battery cells. Unlike Philips e-paper, the Hitachi device can’t display video. Nor can […]

OK, So What Will Be A Good Use of RSS for News Publishers?

[UPDATE: Some blogs which have linked to this item call it my vision of the newspaper of 2010. Calling it that is inaccurate. I believe that e-paper devices will be in common use by 2010 and that consumers will use these device for reading books, magazines, business reports, grocery lists, homework, etc. But whether or not the newspapers industry will take advantage of this by 2010 and make newspapers available on these devices is very much an intangible. Perhaps a few individual newspapers will, but I now don’t see much concerted work by the majority of the newspaper industry or […]

Garcia Predicts Conversion of American Broadsheets to Tabloid

More than a year ago, we wrote about Mario Garcia, a world renown expert on newspaper design, predicting that the majority of the world’s newspapers would became tabloid-sized within his lifetime. Garcia a few years earlier had predicted that a large number of American papers would switch to the smaller format by 2020. This weekend, Garcia updated and accelerated his predictions. “Based on the happenings of the last two years alone, and primarily the last year, I would say it will happen quicker than that. By 2010 we will have many American papers converting,” he

Mobile and Digital Edition Ideas from 'Beyond the Printed Word'

The annual IFRA/WAN/FIPP Beyond the Printed Word online publishing conference was held in Prague yesterday and today. A summary of the presentations is available from WAN and there is an interesting conference moblog. Here from the conference (my thanks to the IFRA and WAN summaries) are some interesting ideas about mobile and digital editions:

Woeful Circulation for Just Retailed Digital Edition of Newspapers

The American Press Institute’s picked up our item last week about the woeful circulation of newspaper digital editions. Cyberjournalist’s lead sentence, although well-intentioned, made a conclusion that we didn’t: “In case there was any doubt that digital editions of newspapers were a horrible experience and destined to failure,….” It’s not quite a simple as all that. Retailed digital editions of newspapers (i.e., those sold directly by the publication to the consumer) do have dismal circulations. This is because the proper technologies (i.e., truly interactive files of less than 1MB per edition delivered routinely, wirelessly, automatically, and without proprietary applications […]

Woeful Circulations for Digital Editions

SEE AN UPDATE TO THIS POSTING Here are a few circulation figures for some U.S. newspapers’ digital editions: USA Today – 900 self-reported (0.05 percent of the total weekday print circulation of 2,154,539). The New York Times – 3,172 ABC-audited (0.28 percent of 1,118,565). The Washington Post – 424 ABC (0.06 percent of 732,904). Boston Globe – 321 self-reported (0.03 percent of 452,109). Sacramento Bee – 100 self-reported (0.03 percent of 303,841), Boston Herald – 150 self-reported (0.06 percent of 248,988). Arkansas Democrat Gazette – 3,418 s-r (1.8 percent of 187,601).

The Woes of the Christian Science Monitor

Last week, the Christian Science Monitor (an excellent, objective, and non-religious newspaper) published a story admitting what’s long been no secret within the American newspaper industry: it’s parent operation, the Christian Science Publishing Society (CSPS), which also publish the Christian Science Sentinel, Christian Science Journal, and Christian Science Quarterly, is US$30 million in the hole, despite cutting 150 of its 900 employees. The CSPS is still recovering from its lost tens of millions of dollars in an ill-advised attempt to create a Christian Science cable television channel nearly two decades ago. The stem those losses, the CSPS ten years ago […]

Newsstand, Inc., Unveils Its Browser-Based Digital Edition Tool

Many corporations and companies prohibit employees from installing outside software on company computers. That prohibition has long been a problem for digital editions that require users to install a such application such Newsstand, Inc., or Zinio. Newsstand responded today with iBrowse, its version of browser-based digital editions that don’t require installing such software. “iBrowse is especially appealing for controlled circulation magazines whose readership is often based in small businesses or large corporations, including those using Apple’s Macintosh. For subscribers working in companies with rigorous IT security standards, iBrowse eliminates firewall and administrative rights issues that would otherwise inhibit downloading an […]

More Prototypes of Rollable E-Paper

I keep telling publishers that electronic paper isn’t science fiction but science fact, technologiy that will go into commercial production this decade. I’m particular a fan of the rollable versions. For example, the picture above is of Polymer Vision B&W prototype demonstrated on May 27th at the International Society for Information Display’s trade show in Seattle. (High resolution photos of this prototype are here.) the February edition of Nature, detailed how these flexible displays use active-matrix organic transistors, have video capabilities, and can be rolled to a radius of one centimeter (4/10ths of an inch) without significant loss in performance. […]

Slate's Jack Shafer on Digital Editions

Jack Shafer of has a solid analysis of the digital editions produced by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and other American newspapers. His conclusion is that “these electronic editions [are] as comfortable as a fat man trapped in an iron suit designed by a boa constrictor.” I’ve long lamented (here’s a recent example) how printed newspapers must convert from broadsheet to tabloid format and how their digital editions must lose unnecessary bulk. Shafer nicely encapsulates how these problems result in lousy circulation for even the best newspapers’ digital editons: … more people attend home games […]