I repeat, the iPad will not be the death of print.
Props to Rolling Stone, Steve Waddington and Jon Mulholland; three voices of sanity in a sea of madness.
Technology is a wonderful, wonderful thing. But people always seem to forget the practicalities. The feel of a good book in your hands, the smell of a fresh off-the-shelf comic book, the joy of being able to pass on that knowledge-imbibed article to the next suitably eager set of hands.
I think it was Russell Buckley, now a VP at Admob, who quite rightly pointed out that although mobile vouchers were indeed ‘the future’, nothing could prevent the person behind the till forgetting their glasses that day. The iPad overheats, it reflects poorly in bright light and it, just like every other new piece of media technology of recent years, is just another medium.
As Steve puts it quite rightly in his blog post:
The iPad will no more spell the end of print than any previous generation of technology. Radios, TVs, PCs, CD-ROMs and the internet were all at one time set to hasten the demise of print.
The iPad is simply another device in the ongoing narrative of an industry reeling from the shift towards advertising online, the internet as a low cost real time distribution platform, and competition for consumer attention from screen based media.
For the record, I quite like my iPad. But the death knell for all paper-based ocular consumption it is not.
Last week I was approached to write a piece about the iPad. But if you read here regularly, youâ€™ll understand that it’s not something I’d typically do. However, I’m not proclaiming to have uncovered something new or shocking about the product, I just fancied putting a few thoughts down about how I feel about it because someone asked me to.
The original piece I wrote is now up where it should be available here (after said someone changed their mind at the last minute), and is a reasonable assessment of my thoughts on the subject. However, the very idea of writing a piece about Apple (a company about which I have never had any interest in writing about), forced me to look at the brand in a whole new light.
I am, as you may guess, no Apple fan. I have never owned an iPod and I will never own an iPhone. Though the keys I’m currently tapping away at belong to a MacBook Pro, a lot of the posts here were first written in my moleskine (my true creative pallette) then transferred to this page at a later date.
A zealot I am not.
iPods enforce iTunes. iPhones enforce iPods. I donâ€™t like the iProducts, because I like to do things my way. Mine. Not Appleâ€™s.
When I was eight years old, my father bought my sister and I the complete Encyclopedia Britannica; appendices, indexes â€“ the lot. This was before the Internet, before the Web, before Wikipedia.
The Encyclopedia Britannica got me through school. I used to sit and read through the pages, sometimes just for fun. â€˜Letâ€™s see what I can learn todayâ€™ was my daily motto. It was a thing of wonder.
When I look at the iPad, that is what I see.
Not a great big iPhone, nor a simplified MacBook Pro. Just a small boy, spread out on the lounge floor. With his school books on one side and the iPad on the other, heâ€™s laying there, doing his homework.
For that reason and for that reason alone, I think I might get one.