Friday, June 24, 2011

Swiping While Wiping

There's been a ton of hand-wringing and pearl-clutching in the publishing industry - and the blog universe about the "death of printed media." Everyone from media moguls to tech industry pundits to radio talk show hosts (yes, I know - radio is dead too - but that's for another post) - have been complaining about how the printed page is doomed - only to be replaced by (gasp!) electronic versions.

Ummm... yeah.

How is this bad? The printing process is filled with toxic chemicals (don't care); uses trees (don't care); is designed for a single use then turns into landfill - or recycle - fodder (don't care); causes a billion tons of CO2 emissions getting the printed copies to the distribution points (don't care); the ink gets all over your hands (CARE!) and no matter what it's always 3-6 hours out-of-date the moment it comes off the press (CARE!).

Folks - this is 2011. My kids get their music - not from iTunes - but from Pandora (and fall back to iTunes when there's no wifi). We want to continue the hugely wasteful practice of printed newspapers and periodicals because that's the way WE grew up. That's the experience WE are used to. When WE were growing up - there was no other way to get the information (besides watching the 11:00pm news - which was the "latest news" - since that morning's newspaper was actually YESTERDAY's news).

So far - all the posts/articles/opinions I've read all have a single common thread: at some point every single one of them says something like "...and just try reading your [favorite device here] in the bathroom...",

Really? The big objection to fundamentally changing the publishing model is because you don't think you can read news on the toilet on an electronic device?

How are you doing it now? You have this big, ginormous sheet of folded paper that you have to use two hands to manipulate, then re-fold, then hunt to page B14 Col 2 for the continuation of the front page story you were reading... This is easier than swiping?

Oh sure, you can then take the paper (that is now totally useless, since you've already read it) - and you can fold it up next to the toilet so that you can throw it away (ok, ok - or "recycle it") in a week or two. That's handy...

It's the same thing with printed magazines. Do you really need to keep that October 2009 issue of People in the bathroom? All the celebrities that were "just engaged" in that magazine are now divorced!

Plus, how bored are you? If it takes you that long to go to the bathroom - perhaps you should see an internal medicine specialist - or at the very least add some fiber to your diet - because something isn't right in "there."

I think for most people - their time in the loo is time to take a break. Time to relax. Time to get some... ummm... "stuff" done. I think the real issue is - no one has come up with the killer bathroom accessory that would make it easy and convenient to use your device when... um... you know, doing your business.

This ideal device would be flexible - allowing equal viewing whether you were standing up or sitting down (although, guys - if you can't hold off reading your Twitter feed or Facebook wall while taking a leak - you have a much bigger problem!). It would accommodate multiple devices - everything from a Kindle, to an iPad, to a smartphone. It would be adjustable - allowing all users of the commode area (regardless of size shape, gender) easy and comfortable access.

Then it hit me - what you need is something like those wall-mounted makeup mirror:

Jerdon First Class 20/20 Hind Sight Wall Mount Mirror, 8.25 x 6.5, 4.5X-1X Magnification, Chrome/White Finish

Just replace the mirror part with a holder for your device - DONE! FINALLY! Now publishers can feel free to go the way of record companies who are doing away with those stupid, space stealing, easily scratched CDs (or albums if you're old like me) - and just push out the latest hits at the touch of a button.

TIP FOR PUBLISHERS: Give this type of device away free with each new electronic subscription!


Harjo Kompagnie said...

haha, funny, I'm reading this from the toilet, with my iPhone! :-)


Bob Cusick said...

I LOVE IT!! :-) Thanks for the comment, Harjo!

Web Analytics