Isolating Print Thinking

Gerry McGovern over at CMSWire has an interesting post on the future of the printed page. He mentions the New York Times print edition deathwatch as an example of the irrelevancy of the printed format and says that:

At a certain point, the economics and ease-of-use of the Web will become so compelling that print will simply not be able to compete. At this historic juncture, we need to carefully evaluate where we stand. We need to understand what skills are specifically print-related. We need to isolate print-thinking, so that a strength in a previous era does not become a weakness in a new one.

Gerry raises an interesting point that is very relevant to the technical communications profession today. The separation of content from presentation really obsoletes the concept of the book format that is still widely used. How are books, chapters, indexes, and TOCs relevant when content is increasingly modularized and assembled to fit a specific context?

Are you reading more blogs than books? I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the death of print and the relevancy of print thinking in the age of digital publishing. As technical communicators, we have a front row seat.

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