Online Article Databases

By: Julia Hrin

Technological Transition

  •  Recently there has been a transition from printed media (i.e. magazines & newspapers) to online article databases
  • All major media outlets (i.e. The New York Times & People magazine) offer websites with the same articles that are published (and more!)
  • Less and less people buy printed media and use their devices to access the latest stories

This transition relates to several characteristics of Digitalization


Economies of Scale

Death of Distance

Poly-directionality

Digital Footprint

Economies of Scale

  • Economies of scale refers to the cost structure of a product: the more you produce, the less it costs to produce.
  • The fixed costs are higher for online article databases (i.e. the employees and other business expenses), but to reproduce the media you just have to copy and paste; therefore, marginal and variable costs do not play such a significant role in this online media outlet as it does in printed form
  • But since they producing them in more online forums, the cost of printing the media will soon dwindle significantly
Death of Distance 
  • Because the newspapers and magazines are available online, people can access the content from anywhere in the world. These articles and therefore the information in them can travel faster than ever before since there is no need to wait for the physical copy of the newspaper/magazine to arrive.
  • For example: people in Paris, France could read the Sacramento Bee through these online article databases 
  • Similarly, people on other continents can read American magazines 
Poly-directionality
  • These digital databases allow for more (and instant) poly-directionality
  • These websites and databases are open to anyone with Internet access
  • This allows for the one media source, whether it be an online newspaper or magazine, to transmit their information to many, creating a one-to-many dynamic
  • These online articles also add another level than previous years, it allows the readers to comment on, like, and share the publishings creating a more one-to-one dynamic than ever before
Digital Footprint
  • By moving these articles online, it creates a digital footprint for the authors since all of their publishings are now electronically tied to their names and places of employment. This may have been the case before, but now it is more accessible and easy to find out more about the authors. It is easy to see ALL of their publishings because of this Digital Footprint.
  • Also, a medium is always needed since information is physical, in this case the website acts as such to give the information to the readers, therefore the information is always there as long as there is enough storage to keep it there 
Some Limitations

  • This advance in digitalization offers many benefits, such as more people all over the world having access to these article databases. However, there are limitations when it comes to the fact that millions of people do not have Internet access and therefore no access to these databases.
  • In relation to the digital footprint being tied to the authors, this could lead to the accumulation of threats and negative feedback (because of the introduction of instant poly-directionality and more one-to-one possibilities).

Social Effects

There are far reaching social effects that started several years ago. Attached is a YouTube video from 2008 talking about a software that takes physical print content and converts it to a digital format. Nowadays, we skip that step and put the media directly online so we can access what we need in a matter of seconds. This shows the transformation of newspapers/magazines into these online article databases.

Conclusion
In the end, the digital transition of newspapers/magazines into online article databases has been in the making for several years. It relates to many of the characteristics of digitalization such as the ones mentioned above, and more! This example truly shows how our society is moving more and more into the digital realm.
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Public - 5/4/16, 9:59 PM