Arthur C. Clarke thought of it first


My good friends over at TUAW posted this piece yesterday about the new iPad and how Arthur C. Clark describe something very similar — a “Newspad” in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

” … he could see the headlines of any newspaper he pleased. (That very word “newspaper,” of course, was an anachronistic hangover into the age of electronics.) The text was updated automatically on every hour; even if one read only the English versions, one could spend an entire lifetime doing nothing but absorbing the ever-changing flow of information from the news satellites.

It was hard to imagine how the system could be improved or made more convenient. But sooner or later, Floyd guessed, it would pass away, to be replaced by something as unimaginable as the Newspad itself would have been to Caxton or Gutenberg.”

Clark wrote this in 1968!


Wrong. Wrong. WRONG!


So what is wrong with the picture? The new iPad looks cool, right.
Take a look at The New York Times. Look familiar? Yes. Looks like
their current web page, right? Exactly!

Where is the whiz-bang? Where is the WOW factor? There is none and
that is so wrong.

When will newspapers learn that just because their content is on a new
platform, it’s essentially the SAME old (and I do mean OLD) same old.

Newspapers have always tried to visually attract readers — first it
was illustrations, then photography, followed by 4-color photos and
the latest infographics (which was a good 30 years back!)

At the very least a redesign that is not text-centric is what is
called for. What’s really needed is a new direction in news

Hey, people. Where are all those alternative story form ideas and why
are we not seeing them??

Maybe our mistake is to continue using the word “readers.” As much as
we like to go to the high-brow road, perhaps if we used the word
“viewers,” we’d be going down a better path.

Finally. It’s here and it’s a game changing “_____ killer”


Up until 1:10 (EDT) it was the perfect mobile device — able to do anything and everything. Then Steve trotted out the new iPad. I can hear the complaints already — “It’s not _________” and “It needs _______.”

Well, if we’re playing fill in the blanks, here’s mine: “It’s a _______ killer.”

I think it’s a game changer. Even if it’s “to expensive” this thing will take off like a wildfire. I can hardly wait until newspapers realize that they have to develop websites to accommodate the iPad, Let’s hope that it doesn’t take them years to get to that point.

iPad. It’s a killer!

Can 2.4% of e-subscribers sustain newspaper pay sites?

My good friends over at Reflections of a Newsosaur take a look at who’s paying for new and it does not look good.

Although Key West looks like a hotbed of folks willing to pony up, they are the exception, with most papers in the surveys looking at a paltry fraction of their circulation base paying for the website content.

Is this pay for news in it’s infancy or a foreboding harbinger of how pay-sites are going to fail? I’m thinking that latter. Something about horses and barn doors comes to mind.

It’s big. It’s new. It’s bendy. It’s doomed.


Hearst is hoping that it’s new Skiff Reader will be a Kindle killer. Well, it may wound the Kindle because of its size 1600×1200 touchscreen, but I’m calling this one doomed (for the newspaper industry) because I think that people are just not going to be happy with a one (or two) task device.

Unless it’s free.

In what world is it acceptable to have a device to make phone calls on, another to surf the web, and yet another just to read your newspaper(s) and magazines.

People do not want another black and white static electronic reader. What they want is something like a reader — lightweight portable device with a large screen that can surf the web and act like a computer. AND can it not cost an arm and a leg? Hello computer manufactures, have you not heard about the Gillette sales model?

I’m waiting for Apple’s iTablet (or whatever they’re going to call it) to see how close Steve and Co. come to a real version of a real portable electronic newspaper.