Sunday, September 30, 2012

Does anyone seriously think paper has a future?

I love paper as much as anyone else. I love holding a physical book and flipping through physical magazines, but I'm not naive. I can look ahead and see that the future doesn't contain paper media. Maybe this future isn't in the next 5, 20, or even 50 years, but I'd guess that in 100 years paper will be a relic akin to leather bound collections of first edition books. So sure, a lot of people talk dramatically about the death of paper media when in actuality paper is still doing quite well, but why waste time talking about something that is obviously going to become obsolete during out lifetimes? Still doubtful? Over two years ago Amazon started selling more ebooks than hardcover books. There's still something to be said for physical media though. Seeing it around the house, feeling the pages, or even smelling the ink triggers memories. It takes up physical space and represents our related thoughts and memories. Physical books are not abstract like much of our digital worlds are. Lack of tangibility and abstraction will become an ever greater problem in the future for music, communication, relationships, books, magazines, and more. How we will handle the massive abstraction of our lives is hard to predict…

Next Draft: Curated Daily News

If you're looking for quick interesting bits of news delivered to you daily via email or an app you should check out NextDraft. The app allows you to easily save longer external articles to Readability, Pocket, or Instapaper. Besides just being good writing, it's interesting to analyze as one possible future of magazines. One man searches the web for content to make NextDraft. He's not associated with any published and currently has no visible way of making money. It's an interesting in between of the typical published/editor combo (curated by a company) and something like reddit (curated by the masses). What do you think?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recommended: Michael Lewis

One of my all-time favorite journalists is Michael Lewis. He writes really long, really really really good articles primarily for Vanity Fair Magazine. I have heard him being described as a "financial disaster travel journalist" since he has written really good stories with oftentimes patently absurd examples and anecdotes from Iceland, Ireland, Greece, California etc. Some of you might have seen the movie Moneyball (with Brad Pitt) - Michael Lewis wrote the book

Despite being a favorite of mine, it is kind of absurd that I have only read his stuff on the web (for free) - although I just bought his most recent book, Boomerang, despite having read most of it on the web before (a budding business model?). From the NY times book review:

"Michael Lewis possesses the rare storyteller’s ability to make virtually any subject both lucid and compelling. [...] Mr. Lewis captures the utter folly and madness that spread across both sides of the Atlantic during the last decade [...] Mr. Lewis’s ability to find people [...] is uncanny. And in this book he weaves their stories into a sharp-edged narrative that leaves readers with a visceral understanding of the fiscal recklessness that lies behind today’s headlines about Europe’s growing debt problems"

Below are some of his truly great stories. You should reserve at least half an hour or an hour for each story - but it will be worth it. I can in fact guarantee it (I'm so sure about it that I hereby extend a money-back guarantee).

Some articles have gotten alternative names in the book (in parenthesis below).

Wall Street on the tundra (about Iceland) - April 2009
Beware of Greeks bearing bonds (also "And they invented math") - Oct 2010
When Irish eyes are crying (also "Ireland's original sin") - March 2011
- It's the economy, Dumkopf! (also "The secret lives of Germans") - Sept 2011
- California and bust (also "Too fat to fly") - Nov 2011



Monday, September 17, 2012

The future is mobile?

Touching on one of the trends that Olle Lidbom talked about Monday morning, The Atlantic had an interesting piece in June on the disparity between the advertising spend and what people spend their time and focus on: Why Mobile Will Dominate the Future of Media and Advertising.

For those of you in a rush, here's a graphic that tells more than a thousand words:

Friday, September 14, 2012


I found a blog (Swedish-language) about "PressbyrÄns tidningar", SID-bloggen. Could be of interest to check out.

More generally, if you have suggestions for relevant blogs (RSS feeds) that cover magazine- and course-relevant topics, please leave a comment and tell us about them. I can make a list with "blogs of interest" on this blog (see last year's blog).