I was going through my daily routine of waking up, drinking caffeine, and making sure my sexy was in check when I realized that I picked up an unfamiliar habit. You see, I used to be one of those people who hated unnecessary reading. I went to a Jesuit university that overdid it when it came to supplemental literature and I quickly developed a habit of buying books just to powerskim them.
One thing I could never understand is how people could read newspapers so early in the morning. I’d be on the train and would see folks face deep in the Red Eye, Wall Street, and Sun-Times… I didn’t want any part of it. I thought T was for television and it was good enough for me. Then I got a little older, and much wiser, noticing that TV news is garbage and controlled by large corporations. I wanted more information that was instant and from a variety of sources. So I attached myself to blogs and other online news feeders and have incorporated 20 minutes of web browsing into my morning regimen. Sure, it is causing the demise of the print media, but I like the fact that a revolution is taking place right before my eyes.
In the online world, anyone can be a journalist. Something happens, you report it, and the reader decides if it is news. If enough people respond to it, it is powerful enough to crossover into print and film media and can ultimately change lives. A google search on soy has kept me away from soybean based products, a tweet about drug trafficking in Mexico caused me and Anita to cancel our sucker-free honeymoon, a review of Joel Hall Dance Studio on yelp notified me of its new location and because of all of the youtube video responses to “Single Ladies” I no longer violently hate Beyonce anymore (but I will beat that face if she gets out of line…) The amount of time and effort I would need to have this experience with a newspaper would be significantly greater, searching through pages and different issues with limited sources. But this still isn’t a good selling point for people who like the ease and comfort of flipping through a newspaper.
Allegedly, the New York Times has been working on a prototype for an online newspaper that would faithfully combine the security of a paper newspaper with web 2.0. For the past few years, many major newspapers have been trying to convert to blog style formats with their websites but it is failing. They can’t figure out how to generate the same revenues with advertising, the veteran writers are not web savvy, a method of updating information has not been developed (mostly because newspapers are used to publishing once a day as opposed to by the minute to keep up with other news sources), and the biggie, no one wants to pay to read online content. Unless you are a serious sports fan or you are obsessed with a particular writer, there is no incentive to pay for online newspaper subscriptions, especially if you notice the faultiness of the website layout. Often, the links are hard to navigate through, the content is out of date, the ads overpower the page, and it is impossible to search through.
But at last it seems that despite the bankruptcies, the newspapers are trying to innovate. View the New York Times Prototype. What do you think? Is this something you could get jiggy with?
An inside source, aka some woman at a bar, told me that the Chicago Tribune is about to bust out its own reinvention of the wheel. It is supposed to be a one stop shop for anything and everything related to Chicago. They are marketing it as “The Facebook of Chicago” (You can view their prototype here).
We’ll see. I don’t mind the competition, but I will walk the six blocks to Michigan Avenue and burn a historic bitch down If. I. Need. To.
Quintin does not play.
Side Note: The Chicago Tribune deemed nobodydanceshere.com as one of Chicago’s Best Blogs. Hooray for me. Say it with me, “Hooray for Quintin. He is awesome.”