This morning, I was discussing the company Doppelganger with Simon Bradstock, VP of Corporate Products at Dow Jones. The main point of conversation was how far extending the social networking paradigm is extending and now we are witnessing the merging of social networking with virtual reality. Wow!, an $11M third round funding for a company “offers programmed virtual worlds for the teen demographic.” The virtual world and social networking space is white hot right now.
The conversation led Simon to inquire, “How many column inches have been dedicated to Second Life?” I am almost embarrassed to say that my response was “What’s a column inch?” In fact, upon hearing the term, I immediately thought about architecture or World War I military tactics. It certainly did not trigger a written publication. According to Wikipedia, a column inch is:
“A column inch is a measurement of the amount of content in published works that use multiple columns per page. A column inch is a unit of space one column wide by one inch high.”
So, this led us to question as to whether “column inch” has now become a quaint term such as “horsepower”. I work for Dow Jones and I did not know the term. Does it actually show how much we’ve become a digital culture and have moved so far from traditional media. Is it one of those small signs that lead some credence the all the questioning as to the future of the newspaper such as Henry Blodget‘s recent post, Running the Numbers: Why Newspapers Are Screwed. (I happen to not agree with the completely bleak outlook; I do agree that newspapers will have to emerge with new models to survive in the digital age.)
Additional coverage of Doppelganger: