The digital age has changed the way that we communicate, bringing smart phones and tablets to the forefront and pushing print publications to the back and eventually to certain extinction. Well, the print dinosaur is quite dead yet and, when used correctly, print and digital can form an alliance to communicate in ways that you may have missed including the following.
Newsletters — The company newsletter is dead, having been replaced by the company blog. Well, not entirely. Some businesses still offer both, finding that a hard copy newsletter held in the hand can get read at anywhere and at anytime without having to log in. Moreover, employees seem to prize seeing their name in print finding it easier to save such documents for later reference.
PDFs — Portable document files are an excellent tool that bridges the print and digital pide. With PDF software from Adobe, you can take pictures of your documents and transport these across the Internet. PDFs are popular for issuing white papers, academic reports and newsletters, allowing the creator to issue hard and soft copies of same as needed.
Newspapers — Ink stained fingers are becoming a rarity these days as people pull up their news from various online websites including from the newspapers themselves. Still, there are two days a week when newspaper sales spike: Wednesdays for coupons and Sundays for sports information, cartoon, ads and coupons. Newspapers are reluctant with dispensing with a tried and true medium finding it too hard to let go. Newspapers that have succeeded in both arenas have found that by putting up an online pay wall, they are able to handle both traditional and digital sides of this media. Unfortunately, only two newspapers — The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times — have succeeded in this endeavor.
Magazines — Traditional magazines are closing down left and right, unable to sustain a model that with a high overhead and heavy dependency on advertising. Those advertisers are still out there, but most have shifted their campaigns to online medium. Online, magazine companies are battling with nontraditional sources that that have launched blog-based websites with magazine themes to advance their own businesses. The number of magazines with a strong presence online now include Elle, Parade, Esquire, the National Enquirer, Allure, Details, InStyle and Photo District News.
Text Books — Will libraries eventually make the complete transition from hard copy to digital books. That seems likely, but the move will likely span decades. Already, though, there is an effort to get colleges to team up with producers of online books in a bid to help students cope with the high cost of college books. Flat World Knowledge, for instance, is moving away from a free model to a paid model, but even with paid model its prices come in lower than traditional text books. This allows students to get the same kinds of peer-reviewed books that other students enjoy and at a cost that won’t bust their budgets.
Electronic Devices — What is hastening the shift to digital media? Well, that would be none other than tablet computers and smart phones that make it possible to view documents online. Earlier on, eReaders such as Kindle came to market, making it possible to read books with a small, handheld device. Upmarket, the iPad expanded book reading by making it possible for people to access the Internet and get email.
Just as radio survived television and television has survived cable, likely we will see some of our other old time communications systems adjust for a new age. The typewriter, teletype machine and fax machine are gone on the business front, but each has been replaced by advanced computers and data accumulation machines that have rendered the old communications units as worthless.