Call it serendipity or call it procrastination, every so often a browse through the internet in the name of research throws up something that makes you stop and think.
Late last week, it was this screenshot on the right.
Telegraph PM was launched in September 2006 as a downloadable afternoon edition of the Daily Telegraph.
A newspaper in PDF form, it was ‘published’ at 4pm each weekday with a further update at 5.30pm. It ran to 10 pages, made up of news, business, sport, entertainment, crosswords and – very 2006, this – a sudoku puzzle.
On launch, the Telegraph described it as:
Our commitment to being at the cutting edge of the new-media age.
Which sounds a little strange three years on.
Internet-enabled smartphones, WiFi and 3G dongles for your laptop have made the printable take-away seem like an unnecessary indulgence. Why print when you can surf?
Telegraph PM was quietly dropped in January 2008.
In fact the downloadable PDF still lives on – and any Telegraph reader missing the ‘old’ form need only hold their nose, make their way across to the Guardian site, and print a copy of G24.
Perhaps G24 is still used in large numbers, maybe the overheads are small enough to sustain the remaining hardcore, or maybe the Guardian’s digital bosses have forgotten it exists.
Another alternative? Perhaps this is the future of print. Transfer the production costs to the user – or more likely the office HP LaserJet – and, hey presto the DIY PDF gives you the best of both worlds: the tangible value of print for the marginal cost of internet publishing.