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Re: Yes, it's time (RE: Is it time to stop printing journals?)

I doubt consumer publishers would be surprised by how quickly the change has taken place. I doubt anything surprises a consumer publisher any more. The spend their mornings reading the NYTimes online, turning first to the obituaries of the music business.

Insofar as consumer magazine publishers repurpose content for library sales (often through aggregators such as Gale and EBSCO), they are not acting in their capacity of consumer publishers, by definition. In their core consumer markets the switch to fully digital editions is problematic because the advertising revenue, which drives the business, does not follow. And when the advertising does move online, it doesn't necessarily go to the online magazines.

This, the problematic career of advertising dollars, is in part because Google is the snake that eats its own tail. An advertiser can choose to advertise on a target site (e.g., Time magazine online) or it can advertise by purchasing search engine keywords, thus advertising on the index rather than the target content. There is a paradox here. Google increases traffic to indexed Web sites, but it also takes away the advertising dollars that otherwise may have appeared on those sites. Nor does Google underwrite the creation of the target content. At some point that target content may not be Time or the NY Times but a motley collection of amateur blogs, social networks, and wikis. Now read the breaking news from Iraq, brought to you by your 16-year-old and her cool friends. Students of media will recall the story of Life magazine, beloved by its millions of readers, neglected by advertisers, who migrated to the larger audiences watching "I Love Lucy."

I am not making these comments because I don't love Google, because I do in fact love Google--and am typing this post on Gmail. What I would hope is that everyone concerned with media, from blogs to academic research journals, view digital media as a strange world with its own physics, one awaiting its Einstein. Until someone helps us understand the speed of eyeballs and the curvature of links, water will flow up and tomorrow will come yesterday.

Joe Esposito

On 5/1/07, adam hodgkin <adam.hodgkin@gmail.com> wrote:
On 5/1/07, David Goodman <dgoodman@princeton.edu> wrote:

But there are such services--and Proquest and Ebsco and Wilson
and others have been providing it very successfully for a
number of years now.\\
Indeed, there are such services, but they are usually (?)
repurposed and without the illustrative material and the ads.
They are very useful for what they do -- which is basically to
provide a text-database version of the magazines. They are
probably more useful to libraries which dont need to have the
full magazine (ie the magazine including the ads, diagrams and
pictures), but fashion or design school library is not going to
limit its magazine collection to text sans-illustrations. Though
for some analytic and academic purposes it is useful and may be
sufficient just to have a version of the text, minus
illustrations and ads.

Similarly 15 years ago there was quite widespread support for
full-text versions of scientific periodicals which excluded
illustrative material. Such databases had their uses then, but we
would not have raised the possibility that one could therefore
stop printing the actual journal.

I was rather thinking that digital versions of magazines could
replace and displace the print versions, which will only be a
real option when the digital version includes ALL that the
magazine contains. The print version becomes at least moot, when
the digital version covers all the printable content.This seems
to have been accepted in STM libraries and the institutions they
serve: many consumer magazine publishers would be surprised at
how quickly that change has taken place.

Adam Hodgkin

On 5/1/07, David Goodman <dgoodman@princeton.edu> wrote:

But there are such services--and Proquest and Ebsco and Wilson
and others have been providing it very successfully for a
number of years now. They have among other things greatly
facilitated the ability of libraries to keep intact files of
this material, and for university to provide access to a wide
range of material to which they would not ordinarily subscribe.

At a more popular level, the problem has been solved by the
(usually free) web editions of many magazines and newspapers,
and their aggregation via RSS. And in many fields, the growth
of web-only magazine-like services--for me, the most important
of them is slashdot--there has ever been an equally good way of
access to this sort of material.

It is not only librarians and conventional publishers who can
figure out effective ways for distributing content.

David Goodman, Ph.D., M.L.S.

----- Original Message -----
From: adam hodgkin <adam.hodgkin@gmail.com>
Date: Friday, April 27, 2007 10:18 pm
Subject: Re: Yes, it's time (RE: Is it time to stop printing journals?)
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu

A rather delayed response to this thread, which I found very
interesting. It has been leading me to puzzle out why the
consumer magazine market has not gone in the same direction (at
least it has not gone there yet)


I have also been wondering why a similar aggregation solution
for consumer magazines, seems so unattractive. Can one imagine
a Science Direct for all the major consumer magazines? It
would be a rather monstrous compilation, but does that not
tell us something about how much the big research libraries
really wanted/needed solutions like Science Direct? Only with
big and efficient aggregators such as Elsevier could the STM
library world have moved so quickly towards an electronic
solution for their patrons. Libraries are of course vastly
more important to the STM market than they are to the consumer
magazine publishers.

However, it seems likely that there is some role for
comprehensive aggregation services for digital books and
digital magazines. Adam