The December 31, 2012, issue of Newsweek magazine was the last print edition.  After eight decades the publishing giant made the determination it would no longer be maximally effective in its mission if it remained a hardcopy.  Therefore, after years of analysis and planning, Newsweek decided it was time to end an era and move its entire magazine to a purely online format.  Because of the revolutionary and ubiquitous advent of the digital age and Newsweek’s response to it, this week I will devote my blog posts to that final print issue.

As much as I enjoy reading and handling the hardcopy, I am enough of a business-minded realist to know migrating online is often the best strategy.  The onset of the digital world has made exactly that step necessary.  This is true, not just for Newsweek of course, but for millions of other entities.  From stores to newspapers to libraries to nonprofits, we have all come to realize much of the future will be virtual instead of real.  If you don’t have some kind of an online presence today, your sustainability is in question.

I’m still not sure how much I like the new reality though.  As I’ve said many times, I have never figured out how to curl up with a good computer.

Nevertheless, this is the business model Newsweek has decided it must pursue.  I don’t begrudge Newsweek that decision, nor do I begrudge any one of us that decision.  In business today, a commitment to function as much if not more in the virtual world as in the physical world is a nonnegotiable.  The two worlds are ultimately equally real.  They will be viewed with equal appreciation from diverse observation points, much like the iridescent feathers on a bird.

Rather than looking at Newsweek and grieving over the fact you cannot touch it anymore, perhaps the more profitable approach is to realize you can touch it in a new way, and maybe—dare I say it?—a better way.

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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