The previous week Printweek's resident columnist Lawrence Wallis described as 'arrant nonsense' a reported view from Bill Gates that print "will become virtually redundant in 10 years". The forecast is partly based on the latest iteration of e-paper as a foundation for comuter tablet technology. Wallis points out that the demise of print has been predicted "on umpteen occasions" since he joined the industry in 1949. He consider that print remains dynamic as new technologies support print production itself.
He lists some features that give print an advantage
- no need for special equipment
- no need for electricity
- no need for telephony ( web access )
- comparatively cheap
- editorially disciplined
- congenial to a user
These could be looked at as factors where print and online can be compared. Many people find a screen congenial on occasions. On the planet most people do not have access to a phone, let alone a tablet PC. I'm not sure about the 'editorial discipline'. There are some web news sites that employ editors. I submit stories for OhmyNews and find they are improved by the process. Often there are more interesting stories from other people that I find while looking to see if my own are accepted.
The heading "referable" may imply that the indexing on books can be relied on. The theme of Online Information is that 'everything is miscellaneous'. This may be something that could only work on the web. Searching for "Lawrence Wallis" on Google turns up a Seybold review of Typomania from 1996. I wonder if you would find this title from browsing in a bookshop?