free html hit counter The Internet is the New Paper - John Battelle's Search Blog

The Internet is the New Paper

By - June 01, 2004

Despite the trumped up charges in Ad Age, Google will not kill specialized, niche publications. There will *always* be a market for them. Any executive in the trade publishing business that fears Google ought to take a hard look at the value they are creating and see if he isn’t blaming the wrong actor. The world needs editors and analysts. But paper? In many cases where paper has dominated in the past, the answer is no.

The question is whether that market needs or justifies the expense of paper. Paper has graduated to the place television was a couple of decades ago – simply too expensive a proposition (in a wholistic view – to manufacture, print, distribute, etc. ) save for very specific economics – mass market (ie the recent surge of celebrity crap) or highly adapted to execution in the particular medium (ie portability (daily newspapers), or design (Wired), or long form (TNY)). You knew this already, but the new paper – cheap, ubiquitous, malleable – is the internet.

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One thought on “The Internet is the New Paper

  1. Matt McAlister says:

    Google won’t kill publications, but the impact of search advertising may be underestimated, particularly at those publications who have weak online properties. Just look at the classifieds revenue streams at any major newspaper. The money didn’t disappear. It went to Google and Local newspapers are afraid. Niche publications should be, too.

    If a b-to-b publication is not building their online property to adjust to this new dynamic, then they are both missing an opportunity and risking their future.