Friday, July 12, 2013

The end of an era: PCWorld magazine stops print circulation

It seems logical that computer magazines would be the first to go. After all, computer geeks are the proverbial early adopters and have long since moved on to consuming news in a more timely fashion: online magazines, technology blogs, and up-to-the-minute real-time news on Twitter. Personally, I stopped reading print magazines and newspapers over three years ago. In an always-on always-connected world, where your smartphone provides you with instant access to everything, a daily print publication brings you yesterday's news. And let's not even talk about weekly or monthly print publications.

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Over the past decade I've seen countless tech publications get thinner and thinner from issue to issue and then just disappear. Some of them make a successful transition to an online magazine, and some don't. Interestingly, however, there is one computer-focused print publication in Germany that has managed to still stay relevant: c't Magazin. For some reason they've been able to keep and even grow their readership well into the 21st century.

Don't get me wrong, I still like journalistic excellence and that's why I subscribe to several online news sources that provide more of a well-researched and insightful commentary on the news:

I read these on whichever device I'm currently working on, be it the laptop, tablet, or smartphone - usually over a cup of coffee in the morning or while munching on a sandwich for lunch - and I intentionally include UK and German publications as well as AlJazeera to get a more balanced global view.

But for up-to-the-minute news I rely on Twitter as well as news alerts from Reuters, the Associated Press, and intelligence alerts from Stratfor, plus the usual geek-focused blogs, such as Engadget, Gizmodo, etc. and Techmeme as a blog aggregator.

One could, of course, argue that the era of computer magazines had ended much earlier already, when BYTE ended circulation in July 1998. But that would be dating myself…

Additional coverage: Techmeme, The Verge, TIME, ZDNet

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