Univ of Georgia Study May Rain on Tablet Parade

January 28, 2010

A happy quack to the reader who sent me a link to the University of Georgia’s news release titled “UGA Researchers Find e-Readers Falls Short as News Delivery Tool.” Let me say that I hope e-Readers return the publishing industry to its salad days. University of Georgia’s survey results suggest that there may be some storm clouds on the hypothetical summer days that gizmos like the Kindle and Nook will bring. You will want to read the news release, but in my opinion the key passage in the survey summary was:

While adults of all ages were impressed by the readability of the Kindle screen, describing it as “easy on the eyes,” few considered it a primary way to read news. For younger adults, the Kindle fell short when compared to their beloved smart phones, with touch screens and multiple applications—from music to surfing the Internet—available in a single small package. The e-reader felt “old” to them. Older adults were overall more receptive to the concept of an e-reader. However, the Kindle failed to include aspects of the traditional newspaper they had grown fond of, such as comics and crossword puzzles. Cost was a factor regardless of age. Nearly all respondents balked at the Kindle DX’s $489 price tag for reading a newspaper.

I like the “old” word. What’s missing in the dreams of a return to the earning power of Computer Shopper is the reality that geezers like me are going to the big data center in the sky. The younger folks have different information pathways. Possible  bad news for publishers?

Stephen E Arnold, January 27, 2010

A freebie. I will report this to the Pew research outfit, who has jurisdiction in wild and wonderful Internet survey data.


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