By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Re-Kindling the Globe (II)

Recently I threw some numbers around regarding the possibility that the Boston Globe could give away the Amazon Kindle to its home subscribers and shut down its presses.

Today, Media Nation reader M.G. points to this Time magazine story about a new, bigger Kindle that’s in the works and that might be ideal for displaying newspaper and magazine content. Yesterday, the New York Times reported on other e-readers that are being developed.

The challenge, needless to say, is to come up with an experience so compelling that people will be willing to pay for it rather than click around the free Web edition. For it to work, you need a critical mass who really want to read the paper, as opposed to spending 10 minutes grazing the headlines during their lunch hour.

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7 Comments

  1. Bill H.

    I see in today’s Globe that H.D.S. Greenway’s column will now be monthly rather than weekly; this attributed to “changes on the op-ed page.” With attrition such as this, the paper becomes much less inviting, regardless of the gadgets that may save it. Does anyone know if Greenway’s writing is available at any other venue?

  2. Ron Newman

    I think he’s also in his eighties and may just want to slow down. He’s also a correspondent at GlobalPost.com .

  3. Evan Zall

    Seems far fetched, and yet…we’re almost there. Just posted on the topic (on a similar media-themed blog), and the demo I ran across by Newsboy delivers an incredible concept that’s not far off:http://thinktelos.blogspot.com/2009/05/evening-paper-by-kindle-light.html

  4. Patricia of Trakai

    I’ve heard for several years about flexible displays made of OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) and also about “pico-projectors” that would fit into something like an iPhone and allow the user to share a file/image with a few other people. There is definitely some cool technology coming down the pike. I just hope that newsgathering operations can hold out until the tech hits the market….

  5. NewsHound

    A lot of gadgets are fun from time to time. But the loss of the real newspaper – – – that quick print job on cheap paper, just won’t be the same if replaced with another computer look-alike gadget. When a newspaper reveals dishonesty in government we need everyone reading it, not just those with a Kindle or similar gadget.

  6. Ani

    “When a newspaper reveals dishonesty in government, we need everyone reading it, not just those with a Kindle or similar gadget.”I agree with you, NewsHound, and would go further: people shouldn’t need to be able to afford a computer or cable TV to get the news, either, and that’s also where we seem to be headed (with regard to the latter, I’m thinking about the switch over to digital in June and concerned about how many people will not be able to receive a TV signal without a significant outlay of money — for an antenna in addition to the converter box, for example — after the switch). Where are poorer people going to turn during the next crisis for information? I hope I’m wrong, but it reminds me of subprime mortgages in that no one seems to be looking out for poorer people’s best interests.

  7. Mr Punch

    If we’re talking an actual Kindle, rather than something “Kindle-like,” one would think that the Globe wouldn’t have to subsidize the hardware much. As the bulk of the benefits would probably flow to Amazon, the Globe and other papers would function as distributors to get Amazon’s product into the hands of likely users (current newspaper subscribers).

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