New Media Validation through Rejection
I read the e-mail and started chuckling, then realizing the Editor writing it was serious I began a second round of laughter. This rejection was one of the oddest validations I’d ever received. I’ve been shopping an article around to a few print magazines as another outlet for my words. The response this local magazine (there’s not many on the west coast so you can “google” a shortlist) came back containing indignant phrases like “entirely inappropriate” and “couldn’t possibly consider” based on the fact that I operate an outlet in a different media. That is where the validation crept in, because the entire tone conveyed by this response is that OneWheelDrive.Net is a competitor to this print media outlet.
That is not really the case, print and online share readers back and forth more liquidly than either media wishes to admit. I for one don’t take my laptop to the washroom and would rather spend idle Sunday mornings in the coffee shop with copies of Cycle Canada, T.W.O. or Bike than a PDA. During evenings and breaks in the workday though, online media is king; CMG Online sees me visit periodically as does our own site – those newsfeeds come in of their own accord and I like to keep up to date. The point being there will almost always be a niche for both media until print is circumvented entirely by a truly portable electronic technology – e-paper is showing promise, but it’s not out of the lab yet and Sony’s new e-ink e-book reader is less than inspiring.
Still, it’s validating to have someone in essence say that OneWheelDrive.Net shares a big enough overlap with his or her publication to be seen as competition, though given our North American and reach and focus I’m not sure I see this Editor’s point. Unless OWD were to jump the electronic barrier onto the printed page we’re still sharing a liquid pool of readers across media and meeting their needs in different ways. That dissolving barrier will cease to matter as technology moves content away from the screen and into our pockets. Even now viable print alternatives like podcasts are on a meteoric rise and that would make those unable to adapt dinosaurs under new media’s eclipsing shadow. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need catch up on a bit of media theory a la Marshall McLuhan then spend a bit of time playing with Garage Band and my new microphone.