Monday, February 27, 2006
Read These Because There'll Be a Test on This
Dow Jones has reorganized and now print and online are in the same division. This is a big deal. Remember, just a year ago, the online business had more profits than the print version did. It was a real turning point in the credibility of online publishing.
The Internet has stopped growing! I don't disagree with the general findings, as this level of penetration is relatively common for technologies (it's not so different than cell phone penetration, cable TV, etc.). What the article does not address how Internet use is changing with richer content, etc., etc., which was not its intent.
Site of researcher http://www.parksassociates.com/press/press_releases/2006/nat-scan_pr1.html
Remember the $100 computer? http://laptop.media.mit.edu/ Ask yourself after reading the articles: Would even a "free" computer get these non-users to jump on the 'net? Probably not. Not everyone adopts every technology, and it's silly to expect otherwise.
What will change is the way we use the Internet as new devices emerge (remember my comment that the Internet is in fourth grade? It has a long way to go, and we're just seeing a tiny bit of what it has to offer).
Just as a reminder, Microsoft Windows Vista http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/default.aspx will be released in July of this year. Its presence will change the attitude toward TabletPCs rather significantly (because they may actually work!), and will create a mini-surge in computer sales because the software will be more accomodative of various new media formats.
Don't worry... the Internet has plenty to grow. Just go to this page http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm and you'll see how little the Internet has penetrated in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America. Hint: Europe is only a bit more than half of North America's penetration, so you can only imagine what it is elsewhere.
This article on newspapers calls the Internet's effect on the medium a lot of hype, pointing to the profitable coexistence of both hard copy and online versions for many papers. I know I've been stressing how the information consumer is the one in charge, and also the need for branding in content that rises above the medium in which it appears (the old Marshall McLuhan "the medium is the message" is now out of date in so many ways).
Speaking of online content, the Adobe website claims 200 million PDFs are available online. I did a Google search of the number of PDFs and it turned up 315 million documents online, and we know Google only covers public websites, not internal ones.
Consultant David Dodd explains value-added, the rise in importance of direct marketing, and how printers should get on the path of becoming "companies formerly known as printers."
Since all major business economic forecasts are wrong, they're worth reading to know what will not happen. The National Association of Business Economists has issued their composite forecast of 53 economists for 2006 and 2007.
In my mind, things will be slower than they claim as we will be moving sideways and slowing gradually. I don't know if we'll reach the 3.3% growth rate they expect, but what's a few decimal points between friends?