So long, and thanks for all the ink

  25 July 2016

All good analogue things in publishing must come to an end. The latest casualty of the unrelenting march of digital is the Glass’s Guide. 83 years young it’s affectionally called the ‘Bible’ of the motor trade and is finally being retired. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the near-universal use of mobile devices to conduct business has done for the Guide what online streaming has done for CDs and DVDs.

Still, it’s okay to shed a tear for what was, for many, a key tool of the trade. A well-thumbed copy was usually a sign of being busy, while it was comforting to know that all the information you needed was in one, convenient place. That’s also the case with the electronic offering, which is a darn sight more convenient especially in mobile app form. If progress means you can access it all from your phone instead of carrying around a chunky bundle of dead tree then sign me up.

Of course, the Guide is in good company in making the transition from paper to ones and zeros. Auto Trader’s move from print to digital is, comparatively speaking, old news in high-tech media terms. Sure, it was A Big Deal when it happened, but the underlying proposition has benefited immeasurably from the move. The inverse is true of the many local print classified publications advertising everything from goldfish to VW Golfs. The rise of Ebay, Gumtree et al have crushed the inky competition. Here’s to the next 83 years.

Iain Dooley

Editor, Agenda

Auto Retail Network

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