Peach, industry are changing with technology

WestWordsWEBWhen I began in the newspaper business more than 40 years ago, my first job involved writing news stories on a manual typewriter, meaning I put finger power into each keystroke and then reached up with my right hand to sling the carriage return for each new line.
I typed the story on yellow copy paper, and it was then given to a “typesetter.”
The typesetter typed my story “blind,” meaning she could not see what she is typing. Each keystroke created punches in a tickertape, which the typesetting machine converted into letters.
From there, I went on to the Mankato Free Press, and an electric typewriter. Toward the end, we received computers, and even had the ability to send messages to one another such as, “As your typewriter, I can’t believe you are making me write this drivel.”
Next, I bought a small weekly newspaper, and two years later bought two Apple Plus Computers and a Laserwriter for $10,000. We thought we had died and gone to heaven, because we had six different fonts and almost unlimited sizes.
Technology kept advancing, and a few years later, something called the Internet became popular.
That changed everything for newspapers. Many publishers began putting their papers on-line.
Still, print retained its reliable value, which is why this article still appears in paper and ink form in a free paper.
However, technology waits for no one, and when the Apple iPhone arrived in 2007 and then the Apple iPad in 2010, plus a host of competitors, some members of the public, particularly those who grew up with computers, found they preferred getting their news on their electronic tablet or smart phone.
Print continues to bring value to advertisers. Hard as it is for some young people to believe, some of our older readers still don’t know how to turn on a computer. Nevertheless, if you want to see the future, look no further than our schools, many of which now issue computer tablets to their students.
So it is that those of us who work as information providers are evolving as well. We once sold advertising by the word, line and/or column inch. Everyone knew what a newspaper or shopper was, and our advertisers understood that they were buying space in the paper.
At the Peach as well as elsewhere, that is changing. We need to help our clients reach customers no matter what form they are reading it in (phone, tablet, paper), we at the Peach now are helping clients reach customers through social media, email blasts, videos and other programs.
Your computer records when you are looking at cars or houses, and sends that message to others, who then reach out to you on whatever site you are looking at. We now help local advertisers be part of that mix.
The pace of change is accelerating so rapidly, that we are selling products that didn’t even exist five years ago.
The fact is that we aren’t your grandfather’s Peach anymore. We are changing with the times.