Thursday, March 15, 2012

How Did It Last This Long? 

Now that the Encyclopaedia Britannica is no longer going to be printed, one asks how it lasted this long in the internet age?  Old technologies have inertia.  They don't disappear right away.  Like tops at the end of their spins, they wobble on their axes for a while before they tilt.  The next candidates for a fall are newspapers and magazines.  Unlike encyclopedias, however, some of them will survive.  While it is hard to believe that Newsweek will be around much longer, The Economist is unlikely to go anywhere.  While many smaller newspapers will vanish, The New York Times and Washington Post are likely to remain.  Still, the environment has changed so much that few traditional media have the clout they once did.  Like the Encyclopaedia Britannica, they have gone from the authority to just one more source of information.  That on the whole is good, but it diminishes the credibility PR seeks from editorial placement.  PR has to go broader and deeper for clients now.


The good news is that you can subscribe to Britannica online for under $20 a year or $3.00 a month, something like that. That's a great deal when you consider that the printed set now costs $1,400 as long as supplies last.

By the way, you can also subscribe to AP Stylebook online. It's $25 a year and gives you access to the full contents and you can ask the editor for his opinion on style questions that aren't covered or go beyond the guide. You can also build a customized stylesheet on the site that you and/or your employees can use.

The pay-for-play machine is going into second gear as more print media lose traction and are forced to go online. If proposed new regulation of copyrighted material on the Internet becomes law, the floodgates will open because free sites like Wikipedia will become untenable.

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