I’ve spent my professional career doing basically two things: making websites and making print media. It’s my hope that what Apple unleashes tomorrow is the device that finally bridges the two. Let me explain. Every content website I’ve ever worked on has proclaimed the death of print, but the truth is, they’ve all been secretly jealous of old media. Why? Consumers pay for print. Advertisers pay more for print. Print, for all its ink stains and dead trees still makes money. Meanwhile, every print organization I’ve ever worked with has been head-to-toe freaked about the web. The web is the hot, new thing that all the kids are excited about. And it really is better at moving information from one point to another (a sentence so obvious it feels stupid typing it, but believe me when I say it’s taken a decade for some print organizations to admit it). The problem for the web ventures has always been how to pay for it. And as someone who’s designed site after site hoping to get consumers to open their wallets, I can tell you: It’s not easy. Print still has a tangible, innate value. The web does not.
Derek's post is about the iPad pre-game, and we're all done with speculating about that now, right?
And yet this passage really struck me. I've spent the past twelve years jumping back and forth between print and the Web. It's amazing to me that despite all that time, this tremendous gulf still exists. I don't know what the future holds, or what the Tablet iPad means but I do know that it's getting to be a narrower divide. For the first time, it feels like both sides are really working hard on these issues. Whether or not the iPad is a smash hit, or an utter flop (and I think it will be the former) it's gotten people excited about finally figuring it out. That energy and drive is just going to keep going forward.
Even is it is just a big-ass iPhone.