A self-proclaimed “digital evangelist” goes on holiday, picks up a magazine and thoroughly enjoys the read. And he has an epiphany.
“So that day, on holiday, while my favourite digital magazine was behind an ‘on’ switch and endless layers of apps and amongst hundreds of digital choices, there was that single print magazine, right in front of my eyes, quietly lying next to my iPad occupying the same physical space as the device, whispering: ‘Read me’.”
Matthew Buckland, publisher of Memeburn, writes about the experience and his insights in this recent article. And it’s enough to make a print publisher get a little misty.
Buckland describes himself as a seeker: “My drive is to find truth, which leads to understanding, which leads to good business decisions, which leads to ultimate prosperity. In the face of confusion and conflicting information, we try to work out the fundamentals behind our habits. Why do we access brands on Facebook? Why do we read this website? How are media consumption patterns changing? Why do we read magazines on tablets? Will print be dead?”
In his quest for answers, he has discovered that print is able to cut through the clutter of our digital lives and grab our attention, “actually trumping the endless deluge of digital media stuffed into my tablet.”
Buckland is also a realist, citing digital’s massive and growing presence. He also recognizes that “the low barriers to entry for creating digital media mean there is massive choice and competition, which is set to rise even more exponentially.”
For this reason, he sees print’s value even more clearly.
“Ironically — the more pervasive digital media gets, so the more unique and special print media becomes,” says Buckland. “Ultimately a goal of a media publication is to attract readers, spread its ideas and advertising. If it’s able to cut through the digital noise and get a read out of me, then it is still relevant and still has a life.”
Welcome to print, Matthew. We’re ready when you are.