Clay Shirky's got a really thought-provoking piece called Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable in which he points out how and why the newspaper industry has gotten to where it is, and how and why nobody knows yet what's going to happen next in this industry (or whatever replaces it). Some quotes to whet your appetite:
- "The problem newspapers face isn’t that they didn’t see the internet coming."
- "When reality is labeled unthinkable, it creates a kind of sickness in an industry."
- “If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?” To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work.
- "During the wrenching transition to print, experiments were only revealed in retrospect to be turning points."
- "The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place. The importance of any given experiment isn’t apparent at the moment it appears; big changes stall, small changes spread."
- "When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution."
- "Now is the time for experiments, lots and lots of experiments,..." (Paul says see "I want people to read my stuff")
Oh, and did I mention that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has just pulled the plug on its presses, going to online-only starting tomorrow?
Interesting times, these.