photo courtesy of jaredsouney.com
Lately, news aggregators have been obsessively feeding us headlines about the printed word’s inevitable demise. Good work, Mr. Jobs. By begetting the iPad, Apple has inadvertently sent the publishing community a death threat, maybe less dramatic–but there’s definitely a “kick my butt” sign in the horizon. And the publishing peeps are like, yea, we admit it, it’s time to shape up. Rocky did it to “Eye of the Tiger”, and we’ll try to suppress the rage when ads fill our tablet screens. But as someone who is a part of this endangered race of internet naysayers (obvi, I’m not), really, what is the big deal? I love my books and magazines and zines but I am also glad we no longer rely on the horse and buggy to get places (though I’ve considered it a couple times in Central Park! It’s cute.)
I came across this annoying hyperbolic BNET headline today: “Apple’s iPad Will Kill Publishing As We Know It.” Naturally, being my imaginative self and all, I pictured all of these editors and writers suddenly dropping dead at the same time. It’s dark, I know.
And conversations I’ve overheard about books and magazines and the like, becoming tablet-friendly always end with some Orwellian metaphor. Yes, it’s scary that the advent of new technology will be replacing an age-old tradition. Change is never easy. But look on the bright side–book/magazine lovers can join the ranks of record collectors who have made it cool to listen to vinyl again, ergo, read again. And like this Fortune Mag article reminds us, those of us working in publishing just have to figure out how to intelligently make ourselves relevant amid the transition. After all, that’s what’s great about the internet, there’s no limit to space. You don’t really need anyone to save you a seat. Unless your server is like, uhh no you can’t sit here, in which case you just go sit somewhere else.