New Zealand needs an informed, independent technology press

Today, more than ever, technology touches every aspect of our lives. That isn’t going to change.

And yet New Zealand no longer supports a viable, vibrant technology press. I want to change that.

There’s no time to lose.

The New Zealand government has embarked on huge infrastructure projects to support a national fibre network to urban New Zealand and upgrade rural broadband.

Fibre is going to change our lives and transform our economy. It means new ways of doing education, health, government and business.

Meanwhile home grown technology exporters are pushing on to the world stage and our telecommunications sector is adjusting to a new, highly competitive market.

And on the world stage a revolution is underway as PCs give way to tablets and smartphones, while everything is connected by clouds.

It’s an exciting time to be a technology journalist. It’ll be great for readers too.

I hope you’ll join me on the journey. We’re going to see things that make us breathless.

Come on, let’s get started….

Bill Bennett, Auckland, July 2013

Into tomorrow

Publishing has changed. The old media rules have gone.

Readers are in control. They have new ways to share knowledge.

And everything happens at breakneck speed.

You don’t need a large company to publish. You don’t need print. You don’t even need your own servers, designers or developers. You could get by without an office – but that may not be the best idea.

You certainly don’t need a bloated management corps sucking ideas, life and resources away from the frontline operation.

A computer, smartphone or tablet is enough so long as there’s a decent connection.

You no longer need large amounts of capital – although some money is necessary. Almost all income can go to the people producing the words, pictures, audio or video.

People still want information. Facts come first. Informed opinion is good.

Publishers, editors and front-line journalists are no longer remote from audiences. They can’t preach from ivory towers. Readers respond almost immediately correcting mistakes, disputing facts, opposing views.

That’s something to celebrate, not run from.

Dymocks exits ebook publishing after 15 months

Dymocks New Zealand

Dymocks New Zealand closed in 2012, now the company is retreating from ebooks

Australia’s BRW magazine reports Dymocks exits ebook publishing after 15 months. The company told BRW the program was a ‘innovative experiment’ but the challenges were too great.

Dymocks managing director Steve Cox told BRW:

“We learned a lot about that market and those customers but unfortunately the constraints of the platform and business model meant we couldn’t fulfil the vision”.

This story doesn’t make it clear if there’s something systematically wrong with ebook publishing or if the closure is part of Dymock’s winding-down. The company closed its New Zealand business in late 2012 and appears to be in retreat.

I’m interested to know if there’s a viable space in the ebook business for a quality operation sitting between the giant, global powerhouses and the niche publishers. What do you think?