BoSacks: No B.S.: Profiting From Information Overload
As publishers, we have an interesting and increasingly complex relationship with technology. Till the end of the twentieth century, it was our best friend, but now as technology moves forward, it sometimes seems to threaten us as if it was our worst enemy. We have automated the entire manufacturing process, saving our companies billions of dollars in no longer necessary and inefficient production steps. We no longer use mechanical paste-up boards or, for the most part, any expensive hard proofs. We no longer need the antique process of film to create printing plates. In the near future we will no longer need printing plates at all, and, with the coming implementation of wide-array ink jet heads connected to big data engines, each page in a magazine will have the capacity for the edit to be uniquely tailored to the specific person.
All these computer generated processes have advanced the creation of the magazine business far beyond the imagination of the men and women for whom I worked as I got into this industry in the latter half of the last century. We have totally exceeded our expectations, imaginations, and former limitations when it comes to making beautiful, well-crafted magazines.
Now computers have added an additional dimension that is both wonderful and threatening at the same time. I am speaking of the ability of some programs to create computer generated "editorial serendipity" on the fly. There are several programs that do this now, which are still in their early adolescence. Flipboard, Paper.li and many others have given us all the ability to create a personalized publication that is paginated, designed, and a rich reading experience, populated by "sources" that we, the reader, chose.
I have been experimenting and using both Flipboard and Paper.li since they were created in 2010. Most people in publishing are aware of my newsletter with a rather robust circulation, but very few are aware of my daily e-newspaper that has been published at http://paper.li/bosacks since 2010. It has generated over a 1,000 subscribers without any attempt at publicity on my part.