Tuesday, April 08, 2014

From digital to print: The Pitchfork Review

Earlier this year we reported Wikipedia's unexpected transition to print. It is such an uncanny move for a giant that was born and lived exclusively online. In spite of the general direction being towards digital, there are others who value the elegance and charm of the printed publication as opposed to the convenience and cost efficiency of the web. This is the case with Pitchfork Media, a website dedicated to music commentary and news on a wide range of genres. After almost 20 years of exclusive online presence, Pitchfork decided to produce The Pitchfork Review, a quarterly publication that includes new feature stories and ephemera alongside with popular online articles.

One of the reasons Pitchfork made this decision, aside from their love of print, is that they wanted select online pieces live a second life in print for easy reference. It is interesting that although we say "what goes online stays online forever", now we have to follow this saying with "yes, but the good stuff gets buried under a pile of clutter." With so much content being produced every day, it is easy to overlook valuable and relevant material, and paradoxically print becomes the way to immortalize it.

Another noticeable trend is that publications seem to have become one of the prerogatives of successful businesses. This may be how print will survive in a hundred years: as a luxury product for the privileged ones to enjoy, very much like a $200 bottle of old wine.

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