A Publisher’s Secret Weapon
What good is a balloon with no air to fill it? What good is a rocket without the fuel to propel it? Of course, they are no good at all. They all have interesting potential, but that is all.
The same holds true for the Internet. The Internet is nothing but a tool. You can’t hold it or see it, at least not without the secret weapon that publishers have. It is, for all intents and purposes, as empty or as dumb as a rock.
What do people do on the Internet? They can basically do one of three things: They can hear, they can see, and they can read. All the Internet really does is act as the freight train for information. It is strictly a vehicle for the distribution of electrons. There is nothing else that the Internet does.
It is publishers who possess the secret weapon that give the Internet its appeal. It is publishers who use this oft-forgotten secret weapon who will prosper in the coming Internet wars. But let’s call the secret weapon by its other not-so-secret name. It is content that will rule the freight trains and fill the cars with information distilled down to electrons for global distribution.
The publisher is empowered to place that content on paper with ink, on the Internet with pixels, or beamed to a PDA, cell phone, or even a sheet of e-paper by wireless connection. The delivery method is and should be totally irrelevant to both the publisher and the consumer. With the only possible exception that electronic information distribution is by far the fastest and least expensive.
Now, each consumer has a different reading comfort level. That is OK, we can deliver exactly what they want, when and how they want it. The most important thing to remember is that successful publishers have exactly what the public wants. Content, in the multivaried form of facts, fiction and gossip, all distilled down to one word—information. That is what the Internet is all about. Getting information. Everything else that is going on is a distraction or a subset of getting information.