Newspapers morph into the digital eraMonday, December 27th, 2010 by Roberto Saracco
There has been over the last few years a lot of discussion on the demise of newspapers as more and more information is available in the digital space and a new habits for getting daily news is being created. Quite a wave was generated early this year when the Editor in Chief of the New York Times said he was expecting to terminate the paper version within the next 2/3 years. Many reacted with indignation at this prediction.
The appearance of the iPad in April has further fueled the discussion showing in practice that newspapers can be read on-line with a satisfying experience. And the iPad, in turns, has been the harbinger of an avalanche of other tablets (will the tablet market surpass the lap top market by 2015? Many believes so) but even more important it has shown that once newspapers go digital they morph into something different, richer in information and experience.
The paper version, once brought to a digital form, can show clips, can embed links, can be dynamically updated as news flow in, can be a mash ups of several information sources.
This latter aspect has been taken up by Pulse and Flipboard,
And new ones are arriving in these days. One of these is FLUD,
These news aggregators provide the reading experience of a magazine with the plus of delivering to you what you are interested most, since you have the possibility to indicate where your heart lies. This, however, does not cut out the serendipity of discovering new things you weren’t looking for. They are creating a blended experience where what you expect mixes with something else.
By bringing together sources as different as classic newspapers, news agency, Twitter, Facebook and blogs, RSS, you get exposed to a wide variety of news that magically form your personal unique newspaper.
And you can share and discuss the news by sending it to your friends, tweeting on it, post it to your blog and Facebook. In a seamless way you become an actor in the news-space. This morphing of newspapers into a Social Network with you at the centre is what really makes me tick.
I can expect a real revolution in our interfacing with media and a change of role that, I suspect, will change the way we consume the news and the way we use them. I also expect a change in the way news influence our work, our communications with colleagues and clients.
Welcome to the next life of newspapers, an ecosystem with you at the core and so many actors that each single one vanishes from our perception.