Friday, January 06, 2006

Why do I subscribe?

I use my RSS feed reader to follow a bunch of different news sites and blogs. Why, then, do I subscribe to an honest-to-goodness newspaper printed on paper? I find it kind of hard to explain, but the experience is different. Fortunately, Kirk McElhearn is more eloquent than I am. To quote from his post:
Leafing through a paper newspaper, one sees headlines on each page, and may end up reading stories that would not be likely to show up when customizing a web site by subject and keyword. Instead of receiving a "customized" version of the news, you get all the news that's fit to print (to coin a phrase). In this time of fragmentation, people tend to seek out media sources that fit their point of view, whereas a paper newspaper, by its very nature as a source of news for all readers, has to include as many viewpoints as possible.
He concludes:
For newspapers to get it right on the web, newspapers need to study web readers to see what they read and what they buy, and then newspapers need to put creative, thoughtful people to work building the websites readers will use with frequency.
I suspect, though, that web news won't completely supplant physical newspapers in the immediate future.

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