Smage downsizing: following US trend

April 26, 2007

Iconic Australian newspapers the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (The Smage collectively) are downsizing, not only jobs but print size as well, shriking to the tall sheet size I blogged about noticing in North America last November. It’s been 10 years since I read a print version on the SMH regularly, and I remember it being a particular pain (indeed near on impossible) on Sydney trains, so the new size can only help.

Interesting though that it’s a lead story on, but only rates a mention way down the page in Business @ 🙂

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  1. Drive:Activated : Is keeping up with news worth it? - April 28, 2007

    […] Is keeping up with news worth it? I recently sat back and had a general look at where my time goes on an average day and I realised that I spend around 3 hours a day just catching up on news. One hour reading the newspaper (the physical version) while eating breakfast, then another two on average reading my collection of feeds which has grown massively lately. That’s three hours out of the 16 or so hours I’m awake for, plus the various (physical) mags I read regularly, like T3 and Australian Anthill.Am I wasting too much time reading news? Is it worth keeping up?The main goal in keeping up with the news for me is to keep up with what’s going on in the world around me, plus the developments in subjects I’m interested in. Whether or not it’s worthwhile is a difficult question to answer – there’s no way to measure its usefulness. In fact some days I read news and I can’t remember what I read a few pages back. That’s probably a sign that my brain has filtered it out as irrelevant, but how much of what I read is deemed relevant then? In other times, my wide reading of news has allowed me to recall useful things to help in my situation.With the net so prevalent these days, and getting more so, is it necessary to be up-to-date anymore when any information is just a click away? I would argue no, because your brain is infinitely faster as translating what you’re thinking and saying into related items than a computer could ever be. Our brains are however limited by how much we can remember, and how well.There are sites out there that help with this problem by filtering out news to the popular ones as voted by a community, a la digg and its many copycats. But these can never replace your brain’s filtering system, because ultimately only it knows what you’re interested in and what you’re not, which is different to anyone else. It can be argued that reading news itself is the same because you’re reading what selected people are interested in – yes, but by reading a wide cross-section of people you reduce the chance of missing out on something.We as humans have survived without a problem before the net came along and reduced the barriers to publishing news. But can we continue to ignore the massive mounds of news now available to us, in a social context and a professional context? We are now being presented with practically infinite amounts of information, which if we don’t consume, others will and they’ll gain the edge. Vast amounts of knowledge nowadays is not an advantage anymore; its a general expectation.The net, in solving the problem of bringing the world’s people and knowledge together, has in effect created another problem for us – information overload. And it seems its not in the process of easing that, with the advent of blogs, RSS and twitter only further increasing the overload.Is technology providing the solutions, or do we as humans need to sit down and think about where this is leading society?P.S. Speaking of news, I was so happy to see this today – The Age is shrinking their paper size. The Age is a Melbourne broadsheet sized newspaper, and it has been consistently beaten by its tabloid sized rival, the Herald Sun. I’ve always hated reading it not because of its content so much, but because it’s such a pain to read, not just on the bus, but even on my decent-sized desk. The people who try to read it on public transport shit me the most, when they stretch their arms out and cover you with their paper, muttering ‘sorry’ if they’re nice. I’ve always thought the reason they have lower readership is because of its size, maybe this will prove my theory… Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it! […]