Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New ePaper news distribution: difficult in family use?

We suffer from lack of adequate materials recycling in our rural, coastal county in Texas. There was news today of an advance in technology that (should it come to fruition and wide distribution) would no longer require daily paper printing for news we read in textual format. It would, however, allow readers to use it in a portable fashion, carrying about a device about the size of a standard copy paper page.

Hmmm. This "advance" would just kill our family reading time, where we swap sections of the paper as we read. Sometimes, one of us meanders off to another room. We frequently save one day's crossword or other word puzzles for later solution. I use an eReader on my Palm E2, but I think even it would find it difficult to save just one segment that would be able to be used for word puzzles at a later date. I wouldn't like serial news reading, with the wife twiddling her thumbs while awaiting the use of the reader or vice versa.

Imagine a family of parents and 4 reading-age kids. Would they be expected to spend a kilobuck so they can all read the morning paper before they leave for the day's happenings? This would be plus the cost of the distribution/subscription of the publications read by the owners.

I'm thinking no. But I don't have a clue what the solution is that doesn't involve killing lots more trees on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.



  1. The kids will read their paper on their Iphones. They will twitter comments to you and whoever else they want to know what they know AND everybody gets to do their own crossword.

    Joe(rocking on the porch, little rectangular screen in hand)Nation

  2. I'm sure they will still call it a "paper" for a generation or so after the trees heave a sigh of relief. Kinda like they still talk about "dialing" a phone, quite some time after kids don't know what to do with a dial phone when they do stumble across one. Like they still call it "typing" in words for your computer to process in a "word processor" long after typewriters have vanished and those editing programs are now capable of containing so many more things than mere words: moving images, still images, sounds, videos, just about everything but the kitchen sink.

    Words are like that place in the drive home where the wreck happened 4 hours ago and was cleaned up completely 2 hours ago but the ripple in the traffic still causes a stutter in vehicular flow even now. Words are the social memory of what happened yesterday, said today, and remembered tomorrow.