Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Death of Printed Media

This is a guest post by Brad Leclerc. Brad is a writer for Cogniview, the leading producer of PDF to excel conversion tools.

Question: Is printed media (newspapers, magazines) dead?
Short Answer: Yes.

Of course that doesn’t really explain anything. So let’s dig in a bit and I’ll show you why I say that.

You may have noticed that there has been a lot of news recently about several newspapers and other publications going under like Denver’s “Rocky Mountain News” or going “web-only”, as the Seattle Post Intelligencer is gearing up for. There are a lot of reasons for this sort of collapse of printed media starting to hit major publications, not the least of which is the current state of the economy, but one of the major factors seems to be that more and more people are getting their news online.

That movement is leading to a lot less revenue for printed media due to fewer sales in general and secondarily through loss of advertising because of the lower sales. It’s a pretty vicious cycle to be caught in, especially since the cost of publication doesn’t really scale down as the sales do, so they are spending the same (or more in some cases) and making a lot less. Sooner or later something is bound to snap, and that’s what we are seeing now.

tombstone

The silver lining, as I see it at least, is that it’s not necessarily bad for those businesses to move away from traditional printing and into the digital world. It’s MASSIVELY cheaper to manage and distribute (no printing costs, no delivery costs, etc), the costs of maintaining it scale proportionally to the profits, and the cost of producing the content is at worst the same (they would still need journalists, writers, editors, etc), but likely could reduce costs in other areas, such as smaller offices, as much of the equipment (printing presses, etc) is no longer needed.

The one thing people in the traditional media seem to be worried about is the quality of the online content, but that quality doesn’t come from nowhere, it comes from whoever is creating it. If (really “when”, since it is already happening and will continue to do so) journalists and other writers for major publications move into the online world the quality of their work won’t go down. The current state of blogs and online content does not typically compare to traditional media standards…yet. Though there are exceptions. That is, however, quickly changing for the better as more great writers move to blogs and online publications as the readers (and profits) shift to online publications.

Racheal Maddow, of MSNBC, wrote in an article on Newsvine.com yesterday…

There’s no reason why a free press can’t be evident online instead of in print newspapers and magazines, but one thing a free-press needs is people actually ferreting out the news! Reporters and editors! On the payroll! Full-time, preferably! A democracy cannot thrive by blog alone! Can it?

Thankfully, the answer to that question is also an emphatic “Yes it can.” Blogs and other online publications are cheaper to maintain, much more flexible (especially in regards to updating stories as they unfold), and they can be far more targeted to a specific audience, raising reader loyalty (and thus also ad sales and other profitable ventures).

With the rise of things like Amazon’s Kindle, it’s easy to see where the world of publishing is headed. There will be no room for printed (and thus static) publications, when anyone who wants to can get up to the second updates on their favourite news site. Why bother going out to the local news stand, or paying for a printed copy of a newspaper, when it can be delivered faster and cheaper to your email or a device like the Kindle? It simply makes no sense to maintain a paper version of a newspaper or magazine from a financial standpoint, so there’s really no chance for them to survive for much longer. It’s been estimated that the New York Times costs about twice as much per year to maintain then it would cost them to send every single one of the their subscribers a new Kindle(source). There is no avoiding a collapse of that kind of business model.

Once the technology really catches up to the needs and desires of the mass public, which is coming VERY quickly, there is no saving printed media…and that’s a good thing for everyone involved.

Host Monster Web Hosting

The Following Post is an Paid Informational from ReviewMe

One of the first things I do when searching out a new web host is to see how many negative pages the company has built up under “company name sucks” and so when I was contacted to talk about Host Monster, I instantly performed my normal search.

Dreamhost has 69,300 search results
Host Gator has 68,200 search results
Host Monster only has 53,700 search results (or more than 14,000 less negative results)

I have used these hosts, and have to admit that I am surprised that so many people have dedicated themselves to making such pages against web hosting companies. Most of the issues I read about Host Monster had to do with people violating TOS and being upset that Host Monster had to turn off their site in response.

I understand that this might frustrate some people, but I also believe that this is for the greater good, and most reviewers leave out whether they were contacted before hand or not, so any negative reviews are very bias in nature and must always be taken with a grain of salt. The best way to find out if a host will fit your needs or not is to try them out. While moving sites might be difficult to decide which ones are good or bad before testing it out, much like a car.

On more than a few sites I visited, Host Monster was reviewed well, usually within the top ten web hosts listed on review sites, leading me to believe that they do well, also, I found more than one review where the customer was elated with the level and quality of customer service and support they received, including being able to call in and talk to knowledgeable staff.

One of the things that stands out to me when I look at Host Monster is the fact that they only have one consumer level hosting plan that is basically for anyone and everyone. Their plan includes unlimited space and bandwidth, as well as being able to add an unlimited number of domains to your plan. Usually such things would raise red flags for me, but they also take extra steps like offering a 99.9% Network Uptime Guarantee, $25 in Free Yahoo Credits and $50 Free Google Credits. The credits are, I assume, to be used to advertise on the search engines different advertising networks to draw in traffic to your site, which is always a confidence booster in my mind. How many hosts invest in the success of their users?

My only wish with Host Monster would be a stronger understanding of limitations. If they don’t limit bandwidth, nor hard drive space, what is to stop bad people from taking advantage of a good hosting company?

If you have a small site, or a very large site, you should try out Host Monster, and see if it is the right web host for you. They give a 30 day money back guarantee, so you don’t have anything to loose in that respect.

The Preceding Post was a Paid Post, but the opinions are my own