I spent an hour yesterday morning at the dining room table reading The Wall Street Journal before I even bothered to check my email. During that time I skimmed and absorbed probably twice the volume of information that I might have found in the same time from the internet. Only then did I log in and check the links in my sidebar.
There are pros and cons to both media. The paper presents a more balanced diet of news stories than, say, Lucianne. It presents a dozen stories on a single page and my eye jumps around and serendipitously discovers articles and ideas I almost certainly would have missed on the internet. The paper has more screen space and requires less scrolling. The paper is portable; I can carry it into the smallest room in my house.
On the other hand, I also need to wear glasses to read it. There's a 12 to 48 hour time lag on breaking stories, although this is not always bad. Yesterday I wasted an hour watching live streaming video from Hilo Bay, waiting for a tsunami that never arrived. This morning the paper covered the non-event in four sentences.
Neither can you google up information in a pile of dead trees. But boy is that paper durable. If I clip an article and put it in a box it will still be there twenty years from now. Not so the links on this blog.
All this has implications for Zeta Woof. My subscription will last at least a year, and that means that I will spend probably 500 fewer hours in front of this computer. I will continue to try to post at least daily, but more of the articles I link to will be on wsj.com
and some of those will be behind a pay wall. I won't always check before I link.
One thing I promise. I will let you know how this experiment goes, and whether the dead-tree version of The Wall Street Journal is worth the money. Right now I think probably yes. But let's see if I renew a year from now at the non-discounted rate.