I arrived home this afternoon after getting blown off on a meeting in downtown Chicago. I found an issue of Industry Week in my mail. As I scanned it I saw in the editorial that I was holding in my grubby little hands the last print issue of IW. I remember it as a weekly (thick). Then a monthly. Last year a quarterly. This year–one.

Following the lead of what I’ve experienced with IT, PC, software journals, IW will become digital only.

Endeavor, a new company busily engaged in consolidating media properties, made this decision. Marketing people in this market still expect to get publicity without paying for it. And I don’t just mean “pay to play”, which some magazines have gone to in order to survive. They just don’t see value in advertising and don’t seem to realize that the publicity can’t exist in a void.

I saw difficulties 10 years ago when I left the print world as it was evolving into pay-to-play and went digital only. I have had several sponsors over that time. I’m very fortunate to have a long-term ethical sponsor in Inductive Automation who supports the lone individual (with perhaps more readers than…well, we won’t go there).

Most companies have their own email databases (hint: you’ve been sold so many times, you can’t know where your next email blitz will come from), they produce their own webinars, they have their own newsletters, some even have their own magazines. Independent journalism and independent analysts are few.

I’m always sad at the passing of an era. It means that this industrial technology market has matured and consolidated enough that vibrancy, energy, leaps of innovation are maybe in the past.

Unless, that is, unless some of you find a new way to shake up the market. I’m old, but even I’m contemplating where the market can go. What do you think?

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