This week, America celebrates 230 years as a country; next year EE Times will celebrate 35 years as a news and information enterprise. We're not the same animal we were. I don't think we could be, even if we wanted to.
Today we cover technology, design and product developments globally, and our dispatches flow to every corner of the design-engineering world in more than a half-dozen languages. We attend to engineers in each region with tailored media. Recently we launched EETimes.eu, a pan-European Web site that sets the stage for the Sept. 4 debut of EE Times Europe, a biweekly print newspaper for that vital market (see June 26, page 4). EE Times Japan celebrates its first anniversary this month, while in China, our partnership with Global Sources has yielded local-language publications and Web sites.
In North America, the challenge is more interesting. There is a notion that design is fleeing our shores and that print, as a vehicle for delivering information, is on life support. Both sentiments are dead wrong. North America continues to be the home of bleeding-edge design, process research and product development. And print, according to our recent Media Usage survey, has actually grown in popularity year over year. The Economist, a London-based newsweekly, is enjoying huge circulation increases in the United States.
To be sure, print is different now. No longer do we awaken on a Thursday and ask, "What do we have for the news hole?" Since going digital in 1994, we break the news online and analyze it in print.
You could consider eetimes.com our wire-service feed. Our "daily newspaper" is the online EE Times newsletter. And because you want to know the "why" of things that are happening in the world around you, after looking at a computer screen all day long you grab your print edition, stretch out your legs and read through this newsweekly. We think this is a powerful approach to information dissemination.
Here's one example. Rick Merritt recently wrote a piece titled "Divining Intel's future" (June 12, page 1). With input from veterans David Lammers and Dave Bursky, the article laid out several suggestions for how the semiconductor giant might navigate into the future. But Merritt took it one step further after the story hit our Web site: He e-mailed it to Intel CEO Paul Otellini. Otellini responded not 90 minutes later, thanking Rick and noting that some parts of the suggested strategy had merit; others needed work.
Part of my job is worrying about the future. I blog about it (greeleysghost.blogspot.com) to help myself think out loud about the media business.
A lot of people now define news as corporate press releases. Citizen journalism sites across the country are disrupting big-city dailies. YouTube and Revver.com are disrupting the networks.
Information today is ubiquitous, and that actually reinforces the need for independent news and information organizations. We serve as the gatekeepers for discriminating audiences who are pounded every day with marketing messages that are at best self-interested, at worst patently misleading.
When we reach 35 next year, we'll have a celebration. For now, it's back to crafting the first draft of the history of the next stage of the electronics business.