Connecting Print and Web

I wonder why print publishers (newspapers and magazines) cannot make it easier for us to find the articles online. I subscribe to a lot of the hard copy editions of various publications, and many times when I read in article in print, I’d like to link to it from the blog and add a comment. But, it is so difficult to find the articles online at the respective sites.

Here’s an idea which can make it easier to do us, borrowing from the VCR-plus idea used in the US for TV listings. Each article should have a code at the end (a number like 345678). I should be able to enter this number on a search box on the website, and it should take me directly to the article. As simple as that. I am sure that their web traffic go up, with a multiplier effect coming from the blog posts. And yes, while we are at it, they should ensure that the links are “permalinks” – that is, they don’t disappear with time.

While we are at it, here are two more suggestions for the print industry:
– create a proper RSS feed – with a description which is at least 50-100 words, so one can get a good idea about the story.
– do a trackback equivalent, so that I can read comments about the story from others. Make the story as a hub for discussion.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.