The Tragic Death of Everything

webisdead.jpgDeath makes for good headlines, and those of us in the publishing world have been reading a lot of headlines lately about the death of everything from print, to bookstores, to ereaders, to publishing itself. What up with all the declaring everything dead all the time?

Recently over at the Technologizer, Harry McCracken has assembled a lovely list of all the gadgets, software and media that have, over the years, been prematurely declared dead by trigger-happy journalists and pundits.  McCracken was spurred by the most recent (and perhaps most obviously a ploy for media attention) claim – that by Wired’s Chris Anderson pronuouncing the Web is dead:

Wired Editor in Chief Chris Anderson is catching flack for the magazine’s current cover story,
which declares that the Web is dead.

I’m not sure what the controversy
is. For years, once-vibrant technologies, products, and companies have
been dropping like teenagers in a Freddy Krueger movie. Thank heavens
that tech journalists have done such a good job of documenting the
carnage as it happened. Without their diligent reporting, we might not
be aware that the industry is pretty much an unrelenting bloodbath.

McCracken’s article is a pretty funny and fascinating look at the phenomenon of things beging declared dead and then…not dying. Or, in his words, the article is a “moving recap of some of the stuff that predeceased the Web-you may want to bring a handkerchief.” Read the full article here.

Continue the Death Discussion with #FollowReader this Thursday: “Bring Out Your Dead”
jasonboog.jpgPersonally, I’m kind of sick of all the death hype. So much so, that I’ve enlisted Jason Boog of eBookNewser and GalleyCat to spend this Thursday’s #FollowReader (4pm EDT) with me investigating who or WHAT is behind all the false rumors and spurious insinuations that everything even remotely related to our industries is dying.

#FollowReader, sponsored by NetGalley (in cooperation with O’Reilly’s TOC), is a heck of a fun way for bookish, techy, publishing tweeps to gather together an hour each week on Twitter for a bookish, techy, publishing twittersation. Click here for some info on what to expect from this Thursday’s #FollowReader.

And we hope you’ll be joining us. Assuming, that is, you’re not dead yet.