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I'll stay old-fashioned
June 11, 2009 - Jim Smith
While I may be "old-fashioned," there are some things I just don't want to see ... nor accept ... in the so-called "digital age."
So you don't think I'm an out-of-the-loop, stone-aged fossil, I have used computers for years, have a laptop, have high-speed Internet, use e-mail more than mail, have a cellphone and probably will soon get a BlackBerry or iPhone. Technology does not scare me, as long as it makes my life easier and/or gains me more information than I otherwise would have.
When the News and Sentinel launched the Virtual Newsroom for people to use to send us information for inclusion in the newspaper, I thought it was the greatest newspaper leap forward since offset printing. Then we launched CU and we took another reader-user, reader-friendly step that made us the personal scrapbook for all of our readers and let them share their photos worldwide.
Using the newsandsentinel.com Web site as a 24-hour news cycle also was a benefit for readers and for our news teams.
All of these technological advancement I fully embrace, but ........!
I'm not at all crazy about putting all printed text on carry-around electronic readers, such as the Kindle. Yes I know it is the "wave of the future," but there is something almost magical about having a book in one's hands, smelling the crisp paper, feeling the pages, flipping to the next page, being able to put it on the shelf when finished and going to it for reference whenever one wishes.
Some newspapers are starting to experiment with sending their editions electronically to subscribers on a Kindle. Could that be the future of our industry? Sure it could because it would substantially cut costs, eliminating the need for printing presses, newsprint (which isn't cheap) and delivery. But, I don't want to read my morning newspaper on an electronic screen and how would I share the Sunday edition sections with my wife? How would she and I split up the newspaper, each reading sections and then trading them when finished?
When it comes to some things — and printed material is one of them — I want them on paper. I want newspapers on paper and I want books on paper. And, if that makes me "old-fashioned" so be it!
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