If you’ve ever “visited” a hospital waiting room, you’re quite aware of the time that you’ll spend paging through magazines. In past visits, these sterile, silk flower adorned mausoleums have provided me with a plethora of subscriptions to choose from – everything from Diabetes Digest to Preserving Your Memory (an Alzheimer’s Special Publication). Sometimes a receptionist would even bring in their copy of People. Mind numbing, but satisfying all the same.
In a recent visit to Iowa Methodist Medical Center, I found myself pacing around such a room, looking for something to distract me. I would have taken anything, but as I looked around, there were no magazines, no special publications, no newspapers, not even a darn T.V. There was a dog-eared copy of Highlights on a corner table, but that was it.
So, there I waited – freaking out, frustrated and bored! Then, while tipping back my 10th cup of cold coffee, I noticed a little blue sign over the door.
“IHS Provides Free Wi-Fi For Your Convenience.” I looked around the room again. Of the three other people there, two of them were on laptops and the other was on her iPhone. I had to laugh.
For years I’ve subscribed to online publications ranging from the culinary arts to photography and music, and (obviously) technology. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I subscribed to a traditional print publication. But, as technically integrated as my life is, I never expected to go to a hospital and read my favorite subscriptions on my laptop.
As the receptionist put it,
“Why should we subscribe to all of those magazines when the Internet provides everything?”
Read or not, now people have a choice. They can get online and blog, check email, send out notifications and updates to family members right from the (semi) comfort of the IHS waiting rooms. And if you don’t have a laptop or a web-enabled phone, they have a couple units out in the hallway that you can use (within limits). So, for the most part, they got rid of their traditional print publications altogether.
Some say that the future of print publication looks pretty dim. On the other hand, reports show increased online subscriptions (like mine) bolstering revenue and advertising sales.
In any case, I believe the magazines; newspapers and special publications that plan to survive the online media revolution have already made the jump from traditional print to Web. Even old standards like The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have differentiated their print content from their online content with the understanding that the reader demographics are different. But how long before that line gets trampled?
“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives: nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
– Charles Darwin
How many print subscriptions do you still receive? Do you get your media content online? Through email newsletters? Blogs? Web sites? What other sources have you seen/read for media and news lately? How many magazines or newspapers did I link to in this article?!?
Until next time…
P.S. Please say a prayer for my mother’s quick recovery. She’s doing better, but the road ahead isn’t such a welcoming one.