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December 7, 2011 / jasonpinto

How Bill Simmons Makes the Case For Print

Grantland Quarterly Book Cover: Order one today at more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter, Bill Simmons has certainly made quite the name for himself over the past few years. Of course, he’s had other accomplishments in that time period. Here are a few:

Pardon my gushing, but the Grantland website is pretty awesome. Every day there are new columns that entertain and educate.

However, the problem with online content is that its shelf-life may be limited. People have unlimited options while they are online — thus, it’s possible that a social network or another blog might steal their attention from the Grantland website.

The Case For Print

To help give Grantland’s online content further reach and a longer life, Bill Simmons and his team have created a print version, The Grantland Quarterly.

But even though Bill Simmons has millions of fans and followers, he recognized that selling print vs. simply putting stuff online may not be an easy sale to his audience.

Thus, he recently published an article where he laid out the case for offering a printed version. Here were some of the reasons and benefits that he listed:

  • The quality of the hard-copy book is superb.
  • Say this quote in Bill Simmons legendary tongue-in-cheek tone: “If terrorists ever destroy the Internet, I’m screwed — just about everything I ever wrote will vanish into thin air.” Yes, we all are very willing to store our data in the Cloud. And for the most part, we probably have never been let down by that. But for anyone that has ever lost a document that was stored electronically and not properly backed-up, you probably understand his point here.
  • Seeing one’s content in a book format is exciting. “It’s different than seeing your stuff on the Internet”.
  • He wanted to find a way to enable his content to live forever in someone’s bookcase.
  • Reading a story in a book months after the event it discusses has occurred brings benefits to the reader. As opposed to just reading it online the day it’s posted, they will have gained more knowledge and a better perspective about the content that was written.
  • By devoting time to creating a great layout in the book, they were able to “bring boring Internet columns to life”
  • The Grantland team has devoted a lot of time and energy to maintain a great website… A book version of their content is a way to help people take stock of all that they’ve accomplished.

Does Print Have a Place with You?

There is no doubt that marketing channels such as the web, social networks, and mobile will continue to cause shifts in the way that people consume information.

But while each of those channels may bring benefits, there are also areas where they may be lacking.

Thus, if we are responsible for creating or distributing content for our organization, we must never forget how print can help.

Bill Simmons listed a number of reasons for the Grantland Quarterly… and perhaps you can add to that list as well.


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