Johnson's World: Musings, Droppings, Streams & Flashes Pt 9
Vague musings, name-dropping, streams of consciousness and occasional flashes of brilliance... from Johnson’s World.
It is not enough to acquire wisdom, it is necessary to employ it. —Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Six billion of the world’s seven billion people have cell phones. That’s more people than have access to toilets, according to wannabe expert Alec Ross in his book, The Industries of the Future.
The above quoted book received the following review on Amazon:
“I would have totally bought this book if the kindle price wasn't two times the price of a paperback. I would have bought it even if it was the same price as the paperback. Now, however, I am boycotting this book— not buying it because of how publisher and author treat the customers by establishing such ridiculous pricing.”
During the bicycle craze of the late 19th century, many magazines appeared to satisfy the public interest in the phenomenon. When American Wheelman published a 308-page issue, it was declared to be “the largest magazine ever issued from a printing press.” At the height of the bicycle’s popularity, American Wheelman was published daily.
The Printers Ink trade magazine (the source of the above bicycling tidbit) did not cover printing, but advertising. When it commenced publication in 1888, print in one form or another was the only mass advertising medium in existence.
The Chicago Cubs vs San Francisco Giants game 3 of the National League Division Series was a real nail biter. The five-hour game went 13 innings and ran until nearly 2:00 a.m. Central time, which was just too late on a work night for many of the fans back home in Chicagoland. Those who hit the hay early and expected to read about the outcome in the morning paper received a rude surprise if they subscribed to the Daily Herald.
The Herald’s sports section featured an enormous half-page photo of pitcher Jake Arrieta with extensive coverage of his second-inning three-run homer, but that was all. There were no final results in the paper. Apparently the game ran too long for the editorial and printing departments. Readers were forced to turn to the Internet to learn of the Giants’ victory.
After the nail-biting, extra-inning game 7 of the World Series in which the Cubs emerged victorious, the Daily Herald was on the spot again. This time they got it right.
Knowing that virtually their entire readership area bleeds Cubbie blue, the Herald made the clever decision to print its front section and its sport section on higher-quality newsprint than is normally used for the paper. Whiter and more opaque, it beautifully showed off the photos of the ecstatic players celebrating in blue uniforms.
The superior paper will withstand the ravages of time much better than standard newsprint, which is good news since it's a safe bet that just about every printed copy will be saved for posterity. This simple decision turned their paper from a recyclable commodity into a cherished keepsake. You just can’t do that with digital media.
Sadly, a week later the same paper once again went to bed early while the rest of the nation stayed up late watching the results of a hotly contested presidential election. The next morning, readers were treated to side-by-side pictures of Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, with a headline telling them it was a close race. Um, we knew that already.
Newspapers can do better, and must do better if they are to compete in this information age.