Electronic Publishing and the Internet Reformation
Mike King of The Motley Fool tells us of "more large falls in newspaper circulation." This is an ongoing story but one that King flips around in a recent article on the subject. "Offsetting the decline, digital sales of newspapers appear to be rising," he writes, citing the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) release.
For King this is a bright spot, presumably because he thinks mainstream US newspapers are worth saving. I'm not so sure, nor am I sure that what King sees constitutes a significant reversal. Let's return to King's analysis. He writes:
Metropolitan daily newspapers posted an average 6.5% fall in the September quarter, while national newspaper circulation fell 5.5%. That's the 27th consecutive quarter of falling circulation.
Part of the decline in newspaper sales is the result of the publishing companies cutting uneconomic distribution regions, as the companies look to cut costs and focus on profitable areas of the business. Australia's Fairfax Publishing plans to introduce subscriptions for its metro online and app versions of its mastheads next year.
"The latest ABC figures clearly show that people in Australia will pay for quality journalism in both print and digital formats," The Newspaper Works CEO, Tony Hale, said. He added, "The multi-platform publishing strategies being pursued by the major newspaper publishers have produced a very promising picture of newspaper circulations."
Okay, perhaps "multi-platform" approaches are going to prove a salvation to traditional newspapering. But tell that to former employees of Newsweek, Business Week, Life magazine, etc. They're all out of jobs and their printed magazines are no more.
And sooner or later, traditional newspapers are going to be gone, too. The only exception I can see to this trend is "print on demand." It could be that in the future, one could receive a newspaper via one's specially designed home printer.
But I have a hard time believing that people will be regularly buying any kind of print product in a few decades. It will be almost entirely an electronic world.
The Wall Street Journal reported last year on the accelerating trend in the US newspaper circulation slump. Circulation numbers released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations in the mid-2000s showed industry-wide declines of 8 to 15 percent, the highest numbers since 1990-91. Warren Buffet believes that newspapers will be obsolete in ten years. Mainstream radio and television audiences have been declining, as well.
EReaders are currently in their infancy but they will evolve. Ironically, they will evolve by becoming more like pen and ink. The most successful eReader will be the most like today's paper book except that it will be electronic and capable of changing publications on demand.
What we are calling an eReader will actually be a slim, flexible device capable of displaying "newspapers" and "magazines" as well as books. Eventually, press products as we know them will likely be phased out altogether.
There is no going back. The publishing business is irretrievably changed. Electronic delivery makes it impossible for 20th century-style publishing to dominate ever again.
In the 21st century, the Internet will be entirely portable and there will be fewer and fewer barriers to entry from a publishing point of view, excluding political and regulatory ones.
The great 20th century publishers will find their franchises eroding even further. This is because publishing has passed from an era of information scarcity to one of information plenty.
This is happening despite the best efforts of publishing moguls to align themselves with scarcity based political campaigns. Most such campaigns revolve around copyright.
Copyright was basically created – according to the historical record – as a way to slow the spread of information taking place post-Gutenberg press.
The spread of information helped spark the Renaissance, Reformation Age of Enlightenment and ultimately the colonization of the New World ... including the social upheaval that led to the Revolutionary War.
During this time, ancient philosophical texts were rediscovered, literacy expanded and modern civil society began to be developed. Germany especially benefitted from this civilizing trend.
Copyright was not so well developed in Germany as in Britain, and the prices of books and other published information remained low. In England, on the other hand, copyright was more rigorously enforced. This led to higher prices and a choking off of information.
Some have speculated that the explosion of German art, music, philosophy and fiction all stemmed from Germany's relatively lenient copyright laws.
Some have gone so far as to speculate that Britain's bellicosity to Germany was in part stimulated by German high culture and the apparent damages to British empire that Germany's growing cultural cohesiveness and growing industrial might had begun to impose.
Today, what we call the Anglosphere (British and American interests in main) is attempting to enforce rigorous copyright around the world. The recent attack on Megaupload's Kim Dotcom is a good example of this.
The US sent a task force of FBI agents halfway around the world to enforce Hollywood's copyright claims against Dotcom. Those who believed they were injured claimed that Megaupload illegally encouraged the use of copyrighted material.
Nonetheless, the outcome is in doubt. Kim Dotcom has struck back by attacking Hollywood's outdated copyright methodology. He has pointed out that Hollywood's gradual global rollout of movies virtually guarantees bootlegging and copyright violation.
Free for now, Dotcom has announced a new Megaupload facility that will allow musicians to sell tunes directly to listeners, thus bypassing the 20th century recording industry model entirely.
This sort of business challenge is not confined to the recording industry. It is one the larger mainstream media is struggling with. Not only are there new delivery platforms; there are also new kinds of socio-political information emerging.
This new information is often challenging to the status quo that has been in place politically and monetarily for over a century.
The Anglosphere model of Keynesian inflation, high taxes and multinational corporatism is coming under attack as never before. The "alternative media" has emphasized ancient verities of sound money (gold and silver), low taxes and republican forms of government at the local level.
This is a profound challenge to the status quo that has been developed to promote globalism at the expense of local "tribal" culture and national identities.
Unfortunately for the status quo, the alternative media that has been developed as a result of mainstream "gatekeeper," Internet-induced failure has proven intriguing and attractive to millions.
Those information businesses that provide a classical approach to social, economic and political analysis and disseminate this information via new technological platforms are ideally positioned to succeed in the 21st century.
In fact, we call what is occurring the Internet Reformation.
The changes ushered in by the Gutenberg press were fundamental. So are the changes provided by the Internet Reformation, which is beginning to reshape the way people relate to power in the modern age.
What the Internet is increasingly showing us is a way to return to basic freedoms. The Internet in its various incarnations has already distributed information showing many of the precepts of regulatory democracy to be false.
There are downsides. Spymasters and dictators profit from aspects of technology as they always have. And yet the positive elements are likely unstoppable as well. There is little possibility at this point of the Internet being shut down as simplistic formulations might have it. Instead, as with the Reformation itself, the Internet Reformation will continue to advance, undermining the memes of the powers-that-be and even creating, perhaps, a critical mass of decentralizing influences.
It is decentralization that the modern power elite fears most because decentralized spheres of influence are impossible to control. Unfortunately, the Renaissance and Reformation were all about the decentralization of control built on the availability of real knowledge and a return to primary sources that undermined the "experts" of Church and State.
Essentially, however, the power of the information being unleashed is what will carry the day in numerous manifestations. It is impossible for power elite memes to stand against the availability of information now presented online. It is beyond control, beyond collecting, beyond dampening.
Ironically, the proverbial dye was likely cast when America's DARPA dark-technologists invented the Internet but did not foresee, apparently, the evolution of the personal computer that would utilize it to allow average individuals to gain access to all the knowledge of the world. This may stand as one of the great miscalculations of the modern elite. It helped create a second wave of modern information technology that has already begun to undo a myriad of world-centralizing plans.
There is a new Reformation taking place throughout the world, led by electronic communication technology. It is not being commented on by the nightly news, nor written about in the mainstream media. But if you understand the trends and look closely, you can see it playing out every day in every part of human culture. It is already convulsing the world. Out of these labor pains a new and freer society is being born.
A technological enlightenment is taking place – a fundamental reforming of society's knowledge base. It is far more important and fundamental than a "technology revolution." It is rewriting the basic relationship that human beings have with their knowledge base and with its impact on their lives.
Posted by Devout on 11/17/12 02:35 AM
"A few years ago, Amazon removed George Orwell's 1984 from America's Kindle ebook readers. Ever since then, I don't think that I will ever use eReaders for book storage, no matter how the world progresses. "
Looks like 1984 is available on eReaders; Click to view link
Perhaps the Publisher withdrew the right?
Posted by speedygonzales on 11/15/12 11:08 AM
How Gutenberg influenced world read book: Tupper Saussy:Rulers of Evil. Can find free pdf on Click to view link.
In reality, and I wrote it x-times in my articles, this is sign how great impact the truth have. Folx simply reject mainstream because they see lies and propaganda up there. There was pol result which stated that over 60% americans do not trust mainstream.Game is over. Then realize how much money establishment invested into control of information, bilions, now all those money are in deep hollow. Good 4 'em, they got lot more to lose.
Because they change into internet format is not sign of modernization but sign of emergency plan before those media close the doors. 9/11 and so on was big mistake. They underestimated the new medium era. Am sorry for Carol Quigley because he can not see it. If Tragedy and Hope means tragedy for 99% and hope for 1% it is twisting as light switch does between day and night.
The last stronghold of establishment is TV. There is RT, PressTV, Al-jazeera, global research TV on internet, but there is needs for publicly controled nationwide TV broadcast.
PBS and NPR are not under public control as they are paid by corporations. See presidential debate explosion with Jill Stein arrest. Whole world make jokes from establishment, not Americans! Do not feel that there are people who wake up in the morning and have nothing else in their head as how to kill some american while they are thousands miles away. But when they go to work and grocery store they see signs of establishment up there.
Public TV is the platform on which people need to socialize/colectivize not to be split. Turn divide and rule upside down, divide 'em as we all did with printed media. Good bless Ye all.
Pay also attention to this: In my view 99%ers colectivized by internet and here is benefit, look what we 've achieved- destroyed trust in mainstream. And look into past as we all 've been individuals, we all read newspaper of our choice, watch TV news as we choose but... now we can see how easy was to manipulate us.
Posted by Saffire29979 on 11/14/12 08:29 PM
Sorry, that was the wrong link. The interview is here:
Click to view link
Posted by Saffire29979 on 11/14/12 08:27 PM
I wish the Daily Bell would take a more open-minded view of Bitcoin, because it is truly a revolutionary way to communicate value, and in my view it is the greatest of all Internet applications because it has the potential to destroy governments worldwide.
When money isn't physical, it's not steal-able/tax-able. Please check out this interview with Trace Mayer, it might change your perspective:
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the link
Posted by NAPpy on 11/14/12 06:15 PM
The death of the MSM that lied to me. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.
Posted by Don from the Republic of Lakotah on 11/14/12 04:12 PM
ABC numbers contain tons of bullscat. Page views profoundly differ from yesteryear's dead trees lumbering through doorways to deliver "news" in a vacuum. Period. The end.
However, journalists continue to bullskit themselves (and only themselves) about circulation because talking about a $2.1 billion loss in dead tree revenue versus a $207 million gain in digital revenue is just too damn depressing. Because, in the end, net revenue clearly shows a dying industry.
Meanwhile, publishers slowly come to terms with their new business of selling plain old vanilla PDF format files. Audiences sense that it is not in their own best interest to buy into proprietary formats offered by gatekeeping schemers trying to captivate an audience.
Posted by dimitri on 11/14/12 02:36 PM
Since so many people all over the world suffer from a lack of informed, critical judgement it's not difficult to see how they are easy prey to the worst of the Internet. Eg.: at least 50% of surfing the net is directed at porno sites. Yes, there is an Internet Reformation, but don't see it as a powerful transforming and reforming force. It doesn't come close to shaping the average man's outlook. That is, if he even has an outlook left amidst all the brainwashing.
Posted by Friend_of_John_Galt on 11/14/12 01:21 PM
I dropped my subscriptions to newspapers more than 10 years ago. The constant drumbeat of leftist journalists criticizing George Bush (for policies and behaviors that they ignore from Obama) made me realize that I did not need to subsidize the journalism that I found disagreeable.
Print vs eReader ... this is a matter of evolution. The failure of media companies has as much to do with their one-sided content as with their failure to adequately embrace the new electronic distribution technology. Business Week is dead ... but Forbes (business magazine) has developed a web portal of considerable interest and is transitioning to an ever more electronic distribution model.
Likewise, the one newspaper I do subscribe to is the Wall Street Journal. It carries considerable amounts of news about business (and politics) that is helpful in managing my assets. It is accessible by reading the printed copy at the breakfast table or by a convenient application on my iPad (when I am traveling). The electronic access also allows me to research earlier articles on a topic that my not have caught my eye, initially. (The power of Internet is inherent in the "hypertext" aspect, where linking of articles and the ability to search for more data gives the reader unprecedented ability to satisfy a thirst for information.) The original utility of having comprehensive stock quotes available is no longer a useful aspect of the paper -- and, indeed, its stock listings are "selected" rather than complete. (It's so much easier to go online and get a full history of the price of a stock or bond.)
The past 15+ years I've been involved with publishing -- primarily working with small independent publishers (generally called "self publishers") outside the commercial vanity presses. The first breakthrough (about 25 years ago) was "desk top publishing" which cut the cost of preparing a manuscript for print by an order of magnitude. Next was the development of cost effective digital printing, where "one order=one book printed" became a practical reality starting about 8 to 10 years ago. Finally, the ebook revolution that completely frees the author-publisher from the costs and delays related to printed books has made it extremely easy and cheap to write and publish.
The downside is that these new technologies have combined to create a tsunami of new publications. When I first got into the publishing business, there were 50 to 60 thousand new titles issued each year, mostly by the large NY publishers. Now there are around 3 million new titles being published (in the U.S.) by some counts. (This number is inflated by re-issue of public domain titles and other book-like publications. The actual number of new titles (for 2010, the most recent year where I could find reliable numbers) is about 350,000 new books or editions based on the ISBNs reported used.)
However, despite this avalanche of new and reissued material, the sales through bookstores is shrinking. Even adding in ebooks (which have had back to back to back years of exponential sales growth), the overall total sales of books has been shrinking. Indeed, the average nonfiction U.S. book is now selling less than 250 copies per year and only about 3000 copies over its lifespan. (Consider how the occasional blockbuster title affects these figures.) As for self publishers, few such titles sell more than 100 copies -- and those are mostly sold to the author or the authors friends and family.
The Internet revolution is having very deep impact on the publishing business, causing both a reduction in readership of individual publications (of all types) as well as disintermediation of the large publishers and the many intermediaries be they wholesalers, distributors, or booksellers.
Posted by scousekraut on 11/14/12 12:52 PM
Some good news. This week the Frankfurter Rundschau, one of Germany's traditional so-called quality newspapers, has declared insolvency. It is partly owned by the SPD (Social Democratic Party) and represents the Left.
Posted by rossbcan on 11/14/12 10:47 AM
AW: "And sooner or later, traditional newspapers are going to be gone, too."
The "unseen hand" of collective choice, AKA the grim reaper of "Mathematics of Rule" decimates all fraudulent endeavors that do not "provide value", in the subjectively defined interests of choosers who vote with their wallets, on every issue. Court of Public Opinion Verdict: There is no value in paying for lies and MSM subversions. Thus, the entire edifice is, must and will collapse due to being economically unviable, unfit to survive:
Click to view link
Earn your keep, in the opinion of those you trade with, or, PERISH.
Posted by Tolstoyan on 11/14/12 10:40 AM
A few years ago, Amazon removed George Orwell's 1984 from America's Kindle ebook readers. Ever since then, I don't think that I will ever use eReaders for book storage, no matter how the world progresses.