Kindle lessons from future me


I tried.  A purist in many ways, I fought tooth and nail against e-readers in favor of the romantic idealism of the printed page.  I also think baseball is weakened by instant replay and the DH, and that fireplaces should smell like wood, not gas.

The point here is that my desk is piled high with hard copies of the Boston Business Journal, CFO Magazine and any number of trade publications that inform me on the audiences we strive to reach.  They sit for weeks on end, because I’ve read them all online before they reach me in the mail. This is their well-documented business quandary; tangible delivery methods replaced by ease of Internet access.

And while my periodical reading shifted to 90 percent online, my book reading habits became simply nonexistent.  If Present Day Me could visit 1992 Me, I would tell me that a) George Bush has a son, and he’s headed this way, and b) novels take too much energy to buy or borrow, so I will stop/ have stopped reading them.

1992 Me would burst into tears.

And yet, it’s come to this.  I took a look at the Kindle and saw that I could access some 350,000 books and many of the mainstream periodicals and blogs in a lightweight device that is easy on the eyes and looks pretty sharp.

What will this mean for PR and advertising? Its e-reader time will come.  I wrote earlier this year about an e-reader design in concept stage that blew me away.  When e-reader technology breaks away from the Amazon monopoly, content will stream form a variety of sources.  Variety — being the spice of life — is the main ingredient for targeted media.  Variety leads to choice.  Choice leads to segmented audiences.  Segmented audiences lead to directed content…

So my Kindle defection is nothing if not bittersweet.  I will always set aside time to leaf through classic literature on the printed page, but at the same time I need to stay committed to forward momentum.  Best to be prepared for what’s coming.

Hear that, 1992 Me?  (And if you’re still listening, stop with the cassette tapes — you’ll have nowhere to play them someday.)


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