I got a huge kick out of Eric Ulken's E-Media Tidbits comment regarding the trend of newspapers posting PDFs of its print-edition layouts online:
I don't understand. We've made so much progress in new media. Why are we suddenly so interested in mimicking old media? The Web as we know it is a splendid interface -- hardly perfect, but it's getting better all the time. I have yet to hear any compelling reasons for replicating newspaper pages online. If a newspaper wants to distribute its pages in PDF format so people can print them, great. But why go to all this trouble to display newspaper pages (mid-sentence jumps and all) in a Web browser? If people weren't throwing so much money at this idea, I'd swear it was a joke.
I agree, Eric. The whole idea is bogus -- clearly invented in the twisted minds of newspaper and advertising executives who have no concept of the medium. They don't have a clue.
By the way: For a good laugh, check out gazette.com, which was kindly pointed out to me by Curt W. Its idea of innovation is slopping images of the print newspaper online. Funny thing is, they're serious about it; their user guide says, "Welcome to the Gazette, the future of online newspapers."