I used to subscribe to a lot of different computer-related magazines over the years but I realize now I still receive very few in the mail. Why so few? It?s pretty simple to me, usually the information in the magazines is outdated by the time I get it. I get some information from online-only magazines or blogs these days. Times have changed.
So why do I get any magazines at all? Well, I like to get away from the computer screen and read an old style print-version while sitting on my couch listening to the news. I actually only read a couple this way, Macworld and Linux Journal, and the information doesn?t seem out-of-date.
It seems more and more magazine these days are closing the doors completely or taking their publications as digital only. Magazines have been getting thinner and thinner over the years too as advertisers have gone away, forcing the magazine publisher to publish less per issue. The fall of magazines has been happening for quite a while now and none of us should be surprised. My favorite magazine from the 80?s was Byte Magazine which had loads of great technical content. Byte was purchased by CMP Publishing in 1998 and simply shutdown. I was sad to see this one go.
Print magazines are faced with less and less subscribers so they are forced to make cutbacks or simply close the doors. Dr. Dobbs Journal is one publication that went away rather quietly recently. Eric Sink wrote a bit about Dr. Dobbs on his blog saying:
I suppose this was inevitable. I’ve been writing for several years about the decline of print publications for developers. Like most of them, this one has been looking thin and sickly for quite some time. Sadder still, their final issue featured a huge grammatical error on the front cover. I’m sure this was not the way the DDJ staff wanted things to end.
Z Trek has some insight as to what is becoming of Dr. Dobbs Journal:
Beginning in January 2009, Dr. Dobb’s is turning into "Dr. Dobbs Report ? A Special Software Development Monthly Section in InformationWeek Magazine."
It is a shame to have such an important magazine in our industry end in this way. Dr. Dobbs Journal is not alone, PC Magazine recently went digital-only, ending their long running print magazine.
In the end the great pillars of tradition change and die off. The magazines we have all loved over the years will probably all go away, the same away as newspapers. So what are we left with, sitting in front of our computers to get the latest world news or some technology advancement? I am a bit disappointed that it is coming to this. I for one don?t want to only get my news from my computer screen. Maybe it is time the creation of a magazine reader is created and we use those to get updated, something like the Amazon Kindle.
The upside is that it levels the playing field a bit for ?amateur? writers like myself to be able to produce content and be heard. No longer do we have to submit a proposal to a magazine to get our ideas out, I can do it right here like I am right now.
Anyway, good-bye Dr. Dobbs Journal and all those others to be put out to pasture in the future.