They used to say that books would die out thanks to the internet and now e-publishing.
‘They’ weren’t really correct in that view, sales have dipped, shops have closed, but books are still being printed and sold in their millions.
One area of print that is taking a beating however, is that of the martial arts magazines. Before the internet, there were only books, videos and magazines to help martial artists in their study. Magazines were king because they ran features on top martial artists, and advertised the books and videos that martial artists would want to get their hands on.
The start of what is turning out to be a slow death – but faster than that of books – was when the world wide web started to become widely used. It started with forums at first, with those forums providing access to a whole slew of martial artists from across the world that many people would never have heard about due to the grip that the magazines had on exposure.
Then, sites like www.practical-martial-arts.co.uk started to put articles up, covering areas of interest that ranged from Chakras through to the then unknown arts of pressure point manipulation. Although amateur in design, the word count was often higher than print, and it wasn’t full of advertisements and articles that finished at strange points in the magazines.
The forums continued to grow and then another nail was added to the coffin. YouTube. Knock YouTube as much as you want, with a bit of work a martial artist can find quality resources that will not only help them in the study of their own art, but also arts that might compliment or improve their art.
Now, at the click of a link, any martial artist can find any number of articles or videos on pretty much any subject they want. This accessibility completely negates the need for a subscription to a monthly magazine. Add to that the fact that you can download e-books, podcasts and videos to your phones or portable media players, and you now have people able to access anything they want, without having to wait for their magazine to land on their doormat.
With Facebook, Twitter and Google+, the knowledge share is going to continue to increase, and the hold that the magazines have on knowledge will continue to decrease.
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