Newspapers in a digital form are news, but they aren’t papers


Serge Jespers, “Adobe platform evangelist” (and you thought you had difficulty explaining to your parents what you do — imagine if you had a job evangelizing “air“), announced today that there is now a New York Times Reader version that runs on the Adobe Air platform. You can download it here. (If you don’t know what Adobe Air is, you should probably do a little research before downloading it.)

While this version of the Times is read on a computer, I’m guessing the new Kindle DX version of the New York Times will have a similar, although black and white, format. While the format is being called “print like,” it is not actually a replication of the print version — for one thing, it has a horizontal rather than vertical format. However, the articles are displayed in columns with some of the conventions of print design.

Like I’ve said for about 15 years, I don’t actually understand why I want an online replication of a daily newspaper — I like my news flowing more often than once every 24 hours*, however, if there’s an audience who wants news delivered via smoke signals, I’ll be glad to offer services related to smoke signal optimization. Heck, that would be easier than explaining something is being delivered on the “air” platform.

But, still. Let’s stop with calling these things newspapers. Anything that will break if you spill a cup of coffee on it is not a newspaper.

*While the Times Reader version replicates the day’s paper, it does allow for periodic updates of the front page with breaking news featured in header boxes (see screen grab for 3 p.m. “version”).