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Snippet: A Vision for the Future of Newspapers ☇

Shared on August 25, 2012

Mark Potts looks back at a very early electronic newspaper, some twenty years ago:

Twenty years ago, Robert G. Kaiser, newly appointed managing editor of The Washington Post, took a trip to California to learn more about the then-developing world of Silicon Valley. While there, he was invited by John Sculley, then Apple’s CEO, to a conference in Japan about the future of digital media. Several dozen movers and shakers from the worlds of publishing and technology gathered in the resort town of Hakone, outside Tokyo, to discuss what it might mean to use computers to collect and distribute news and information, something described by the newfangled word “multimedia…”

…Moreover, I thought I knew how to bring Kaiser’s vision to life.

I spent the next few days–a gorgeous late-August Washington weekend—holed up in my basement slaving over my Macintosh LC. Using Apple’s then-revolutionary (and now late and lamented) HyperCard software, I built a prototype electronic newspaper that, as Kaiser had envisioned—and as much as my crude programming skills could manage—was a “computer product.”

It’s a shame more newspapers aren’t looking to develop and grow in the digital world, but instead simply rehash text from print editions on a generic content management system. This is a pretty interesting read especially in the context of the potential of newspapers and magazines on the iPad. For me, this brings back so many memories—I created a custom HyperCard stack on some LCs for gathering and building content for our school paper.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.