The E-Book, E-Paper, Kindle Challenge
I always get excited this time of year because very soon I'll be spending a few days in New York City at our annual Publishing Business Conference & Expo where I get to reconnect with some bright minds like Bill Amstutz, Alex Brown, Bob Sacks, Bob Wiemers, and many others.
As a member of the conference advisory board, a speaker and an eager attendee, I expect one thing from this and any conference: Practical advice based on actual experiences. So this year, let's put aside all of the predictions and what people think the industry will be like in 10 or 20 years.
On the "e" side of publishing, let's remember that still, only about 57 percent of the nation uses broadband, although it's accessible to 91 percent of them. Also, U.S. Internet penetration will grow just 1.4 percent this year, according to a recent report from eMarketer.
Sure, the statement can be made that -- faster than television, radio, cable or any other medium -- the Internet is accessed in close to two out of every three homes. I won't argue that in a little over a decade this is an unprecedented accomplishment. However, the affordability of things like broadband and wireless access during the economic conditions we are experiencing shouldn't be taken for granted.
During last year's conference, I put a challenge out to "Mr. E-Paper" himself, Bob Sacks. Let me spill my drink on his e-book reader and then spill some more on the magazine he was carrying around. Which one would he replace faster?