Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, May 07, 2004

I just went downstairs to purchase a refreshing can of Diet Coke...

...and noticed one of the wire newsracks in the snack bar was full of just-off-the-press Birmingham Weeklies. Or, maybe they were Black and Whites. I'm not real sure, because it occurred to me that I haven't read either one of them since I started Possumblog.

Now, Birmingham is probably lucky (at least on some level) to have two independent alt-weeklies to choose from, and I used to be an avid reader of both. But I soon realized that I could get the same content immediately online, without having to wait a week for it, or wade through someone else's turgid writing to find it. (Wading through my own is enough, thanks.) Wacky news of the weird, cartoons, entertainment, opinion, lingerie ads--pretty much anything I could read in a weekly--I can find in just a few seconds on the computer. And despite the imprimatur of professionalism granted by using ink-on-pulp, there are hundreds of writers online who write better as a hobby than many do who write for a living.

Occasionally, I will visit a sandwich shop that might have a few scattered around, and pick one up as a diversion, then notice five or six different things I have already commented on or linked to. I ran across this article at the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies' website from last year that did a rundown of the difficulty weeklies have had at maintaining their circulation numbers (and when you consider how poorly dailies have been performing, running in place isn't quite so bad) but the one quote that jumped out was from the publisher of the Chicago Reader, Jane Levine:

[...] Still, while the Reader's circulation is down to 133,000 (ABC 12/02) from a peak of 137,000 in the late 1990s, Levine says she's moving "a ton of papers" from 1,400 distribution points in Chicago.

"The Reader never tried to have the biggest circulation it could," she says. "It's not that the glass is half-full; the glass is 98 percent full."

She says the Internet has siphoned off some readers, but first-rate editorial work and a strong real-estate classified market have combined to keep circulation relatively steady.

"If they didn't need (the paper) to find the apartment, they wouldn't read the cover story," Levine says. [...]

Says a lot for that first-rate editorial work, eh?

Anyway, I wonder how many of you have had the same experience--you used to read the alternatives, but now do most of your grazing online?

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