On the printing industry and blogs…again

In a recent WhatTheyThink column (membership required) Dr. Joe Webb states: “It does amaze me that the printing industry, which is in the
communications business, after all, has not been more aggressive in
taking advantage of this communications tool.”, in regard to the printing industry using blogs. Hat tip to Adam Dewitz.

Joe, where have you been? For ages you’ve been writing about how the printing industry would rather have their head in the sand ahhh…nice, cool, sand! than work harder at defending their own existence through embracing and exploiting new media. Many of us are very happy that you’re writing this stuff because people in the industry respect you and the message is one they need to get. But you have access to your own blog’s logs, and I suspect they show a readership that reflects the true understanding of web publishing in the printing industry: there isn’t any.

The blogosphere seems to be a non-media to the printing industry. The only guys outside of our small circle who ever really showed any awareness were Timo Paakki, formerly of Data Engineering (a competitor of ours), now of Symbicon, a non-printing related company, and Erik Nikkanen, who’s also left the industry. I haven’t posted much here on printing because I get little response from any of it. I’ve mentioned QuadTech’s competitors several times yet none have ever commented or even emailed me. The few times I’ve asked the odd customer what blogs they read, the answer, universally, is “what’s a blog?” I had been trumpeting for QuadTech to create a blog but in order for it be worthwhile there has to be someone interested in reading it. I suspect your logs are fatter than mine, but mine show that printing-related content is at the bottom of the readership pile.

I think it’s easiest and most fun to poke fun at everyone and imply they’re a bit daft for not catching on to the obvious value that blogs bring (at least to us bloggers 8-). I think it’s harder and less fun to perhaps accept that there’s not much for them to find in blogs. Maybe everyone’s just busy, successful, and innovative enough without that input.

Until people see others getting some kind of value out of blogging, why would they bother?

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