PC Mag Editor Sounds off on eReaders

Last dancosta_100x100.jpgweek, PC Magazine Digital Network executive editor Dan Costa talked to GalleyCat’s Jason Boog on MidiaBistro’s Morning Media Menu. They discussed Costa’s ideal, as-yet-uninvented, eReader–“Long term, we’re going to need color. They are going to be multimedia devices…you’ve got to have access to the huge pools of content that are being published on the web everyday,” said Costa–and Costa’s then-upcoming article for PC Mag on eReaders. Well, that article debuted today, and here’s a quick look at it.

Costa says he never expected eReaders to be the big buzz gift for the 2009 holidays: “if you had told me, even last year, that the Nook, Kindle, and Sony Reader would be the hot holiday gifts of 2009 and that the audience wouldn’t just be gadget geeks, I wouldn’t have believed it.” Then he goes on to give publishers and would-be gadget buyers some advice on how to proceed into the deeper eBook waters.

His main point is something like “diversify, diversify.” He praises the thinking behind the now-defunct-and-possibly-reincarnated CrunchPad, a multi-screen tablet device (“We are moving to a multiscreen, multistream age when we want access to Twitter, the Web, IM, e-mail, and HD video all at the same time,” says Costa). He urges publishers to embrace the various major formats (Kindle, ePub) for eBooks. He warns against waiting on Apple and other companies to streamline the eBook market.

Finally, he reminds his readers of the value of the things publishers have always done well: “If there’s a way to get to the same content via a Google search–either from your site or someone else’s–that’s what people will do…However, if that content is carefully edited, curated to appeal to the readers’ interests, and artfully designed, users will pay for it.” Perhaps publishing has a future after all.