Craig sent me another great story tonight. It turns out the world's oldest newspaper has decided to go all digital, meaning you can't get it on paper anymore unless you print it out for yourself. The article doesn't go into details about why the decision was made but the publishing rights were recently sold to a Swedish government agency and I assume it was all about cutting back costs. The paper was founded in 1645 and was down to a circulation of 1000.
The article has a quote from the paper's chief editor (Editor-in-Chief for us Americans I assume) for the last twenty years. He said, "We think it's a cultural disaster." Cultural disaster? Really? Considering this guy just lost his job, I can see why he thinks it's a disaster, but culturally? I don't think so. If he's truly interested in the paper living on he would see that this is the only way it can actually happen. The fact of the matter is that the site will be read more online than it ever was as a printed document and how can that do anything but retain its cultural relevance? What the chief editor sees as the final blow is likely going to give rise to a new life for this old newspaper.
If this is a cultural disaster then let's consider a few more under the same definition:
- Transportation: from horse to automobile
- Communication: from telegraphs to telephones
- Light: from candles to light bulbs
- Bathrooms: from outhouses to indoor plumbing
So here's the big question, do you have some "cultural disasters" you need to create where you are?