While this blog's primary focus is printing in the home and office, from time to time we can't help exploring the overall future of the printed page, including that venerable societal institution, the newspaper.
And while the biggest sales day for papers in a long time is an interesting, and even poignant story, it may also provide insight in why the printed page still satisfies certain "fundamental user needs", in marketing parlance. Snippets from the news reporting on the sales surge quotes buyers as seeking something that documents the election in a permanent, "official" format. From the Times piece:
"I think there is an authority and finality, a sort of last word that comes from the printed edition of the newspaper," said Steve Hills, president and general manager of Washington Post Media.
At the same time, with the majority of today's current news, which is much more fleeting and ever-changing, is probably more appropriately delivered in electronic form. To use another example from late 2008, who needs/wants an ink-and-paper stock table from any given closing market day? (And that's even assuming the markets actually close!)