Monday, July 28, 2008

stop calling it the paper, or the tape

I've been wondering when the official change in the lexicon will come, that day when we can't call it a newspaper any more, because it's not conveyed on paper. (My alternative: Let's just call it news, and not focus on the least for the user.) Today's New York Times signals another step toward that day, as a wireless company begins offering an easy way for local newspapers to publish their work for cellphones. From the article:
People are increasingly using their phones to surf the Web. Of the 95 million mobile Internet subscribers in the United States, 40 million actively use their phones to go online, twice the number of two years ago, according to Nielsen Mobile. After portal sites and e-mail services, newspaper content — weather, news, politics, city guides, sports and entertainment — is most popular among mobile users.
In the same issue, you'll find this fond obituary for the cassette tape, or nearly so, based on the experience of book publishers and others. And while the article notes that there are plenty of old cassette tapes lying around consumer's homes and offices, do you want to be playing to an ever-shrinking audience, or the growing one? As usual, we remind communicators to rethink what they're sending to traditional media, or training their sources to do, as even newspapers begin reformatting for that ringing thing in your palm.

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