from state of the art to paperweight…..
We are moving.
We bought an apartment upstairs in the same building, and Monday is moving day.
This being Manhattan, we are also doing a great deal of work on the new apartment, and instead of moving out, we are going to try and work around and live with the workers. (We’ll see how this goes). Most planned construction work in this city take twice as long as promised.
But in perparation for the move, we have started to box up our stuff. Some goes upstairs with us, the vast majority goes into storage until the work is done.
As we were packing, Lisa said to me, “what do you want to do with the CDs”?
Like everyone else, we have a large CD collection, but faced with them I suddenly realized I have not played a CD in two years. Not that we don’t listen to music, but for the past two years, since the first iPod (and now 3 iPod generations later), we have not only not purchased a CD; I don’t think we have listened to one.
Pictured above is my Bang and Olufsen Beomaster 9000. It is a lovely machine. State of the are when I bought it. I realize that I have also not used it in two years either. You slide your hand over the right hand side and a door silently opens up for CDs. Never use ’em. Slide your hand over the left hand side and the cassette tape door opens. Cassette tape.
Music and radio I now get on my computer. All the time. I listen to NPR every morning. I like the Santa Monica station. Online also. iTunes for music.
Tower Records, a bastion of my youth has gone out of business. It’s the web.
Today, the San Francisco Chronicle announced they were laying off 100 staffers. It is a wonderful paper. Neil Henry, writing in the paper, blames it on the web. He is right. Advertising was the lifeblood of newspapers. Places like Craigslist began to drain it away. And newspapers are very physical things – to get the paper to you one must cut down trees, make paper, pour ink, run presses, physically transport the papers in trucks and vans to your door.
That costs money.
And the paper can only come once a day.
The web is free. It delivers to the entire planet for free every day. Each morning I read The NY Times, The Guardian, and The Daily Mail online. No paper. The web is going to destroy newspapers. Who could have imagined it? William Randolph Hearst driven to bankruptcy.
This is the irresistable force of technology.
You cannot stop it.
It is the most powerful force on earth.
Web 1.0 was about moving around print.
Ten years after the web began to move print, the chickens are coming home to roost. Newspapers are starting to drop like flies. They will continue to do so, unless they can move fast enough to radically reinvent themselves. Maybe they can, maybe they can’t.
Web 2.o is about video.
What happens to newspapers now is going to happen to Television stations and networks and movie theaters and blockbuster in the next decade.
You can count on it.
The march of technology is irresistable.
There are those with very secure jobs now in those fields who cannot believe this is going to happen. A decade ago, you might have had the same conversation with a reporter or editor who worked for The Chronicle, or The New York Times, or the LA Times… or Time Magazine.
Change or die.
The television stations can watch the newspapers now as they start to go through their death throes and scramble to re-invent themsevles and try to survive. They will look askance, but they will find it hard to believe that the web is coming for them next.
And institutions that once seemed rock solid find themselves in tatters.
Anyone want a B&O Beomaster 9000?