Why Online's Unbeatable; or, why the Grateful Dead legacy has more life than newspapers
It’s accepted wisdom by now that newsprint as it has existed for centuries is headed towards extinction. The Web is more immediate; TV seems more personal. But stepping away from the newsroom towards the cultural beat, here’s a lifestyle example of why printed matter cannot compete with the Internet. .
This article, about the vast world of Dead recordings and the band’s living legacy, is a great story and we enjoyed reading it in our Sunday NYT. A few days later, our friend Channon brought up the article to us. A great story, yes, he said – but the best part? The best part to him was the hundreds of reader photos of Dead shows over the years that had since been submitted to the Times online.
This user-generated photo collection, which amounts to a very personal history of the Dead, gives context, community, and excitement to the original story. The Times has also made available online audio excerpts and a link to a Dead roundtable moderated by the NYT.
Really, this says it all. The online piece is interactive and multimedia. It is alive, evolves and grows via user interaction. The print piece can only live in its moment, and quickly becomes irrelevant.