Print is Dead

I used to sign up for free magazines. There were a lot of them — Technology & Learning Network World, Presentations, Electronic School, Computerworld. When I was teaching, I’d encourage my students to sign up for them too. I was never at a loss for something to read, and they did a great job of keeping me current with new ideas, trends, products, and technologies. They were my primary source for keeping up.

magazinesBut times have changed. I learn from my network now. I subscribe to blogs, and use Twitter and Digg and Delicious and EdTechTalk to keep up. While I used to grab a magazine while eating my lunch, now I’m more likely to fire up the feed reader or listen to a podcast. So I stopped subscribing to the magazines.

But that doesn’t stop them from coming. Over the last few years, my standard practice has been to put magazines in a pile in case I want to read them later. I typically glance at the covers. They have great content. They’re probably very valuable. I see articles on RSS, developing professional learning networks, making global connections, the risks of using social networking tools in the schools, 1:1 programs…. The content is undoubtedly very good. But I’ve moved on. So every year, at the end of the year, I take the pile of magazines that I’ve been meaning to read and move them over to the recycling bin.

This year’s crop was smaller than usual — only 22 magazines, with six different titles. But it still makes me feel bad, both because I don’t get around to reading them, and because the publishers keep sending them.

Next year, I’ll start another pile. Or maybe I’ll just recycle them as they come.

One thought on “Print is Dead

  1. I am in the same boat. I read RSS feeds, download e-magazines, use Delicious, Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and listen to podcasts. During lunch, you can find me listening to podcasts, reading RSS feeds or replying to tweets on Twitter. I have a large hanging folder in my desk that has about 30 magazines in it. It is in my Read/Review folder (I am a GTDer) and I have not touched it for a couple months. I just toss the magazines that come in the mail in the folder to get it out of my inbox. I need to take the time to unsubscribe from the magazines or inform the publisher I only wish to receive the electronic version.

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