An anonymous commenter took Audience Development to task today for quoting yesterday's article in Dead Tree Edition about Source Interlink.
"Why would you quote an anonymous blog especially one named Dead Tree Edition," wrote "Publisher" on the magazine's Web site. "That was clever the first time or two I heard it but it is old devisive (sic) and aggravating."
Audience Development quoted Dead Tree Edition because it values service to its readers above its institutional ego. Its reporting about the filing yesterday, like the other reporting in the mainstream media, omitted the tidbit that publishers are among Source Interlink's major creditors. Bucking a long journalistic tradition of pooh-poohing others' scoops, AD rectified that omission today by citing Dead Tree Edition and by providing some additional details on Source's filing.
Did it worry that it was quoting an unidentified source whose credibility could not be checked? No, because it could verify what I wrote by digging into court documents.
The editors could also verify the trustworthiness of other Dead Tree Edition reporting -- for example, by calling the old "Corrugated Recycles" phone number and finding out it really has been taken over by a telephone-sex service. Or, for a more recent example, by reading Postcom.org's item today about the U.S. Postal Service moving forward with plans for a "Summer Sale", as Dead Tree Edition revealed two weeks ago.
And now for that aggravating name. "Dead Tree Edition" is what the digerati use to describe ink-on-paper publications. I adopted the phrase as this Web site's brand name to communicate that the focus would be on printed publications in an age of Web mania -- and to show that we print geeks have a sense of humor too.
I won't run from the dead-tree moniker. I have an odd fascination for that stuff that comes from dead trees known as paper, and I still love to read a well-crafted newspaper or magazine. (Yes, I'm aware of the irony of saying that in a Web-only blog.)
In my alter ego as D. Eadward Tree (Chief Arborist of Dead Tree Edition), I have attempted to be a friend to printed publications, providing tips and insights as well as being an advocate on postal and environmental issues.
"Trees are a crop -- like corn," "Publisher" writes. "Don't you eat dead corn?"
Yes, I do, and I agree with your point. Even the occasional reader of Dead Tree Edition can see that I don't buy the notions that using dead trees to make publications is necessarily bad or that putting the same content into a digital format is necessarily greener.
Dead trees are our friends.