techies & newbiesMen in Red
From Print to Digital

20 years that changed the way we communicate

COLORS, in its digital form, came to be on December 17, 2012. It has been a year of evolution and growth. And we dare to say, we managed to accomplish in one year what it took tecnology to accomplish in 20. As the year comes to an end we sat down to review accomplishments, growing pains and challenges of the last 365 days and put it against COLORS printed origins. And all nicely set in the timeline of history. Have a look at what happened technology and communicaitons wise in the last 20 years.



analogic past

From an analogic past…

Winds of change come to transform the world forever as technology evolves at the speed of light and reaches the masses with laptops, DVDs and Blueray.


digital world

… to a digital world…

Our lifestyle is charecterised by constant e-mailing, chatting and searching the web. It's Skype time now! Our SimCity alternative lives dream of an Internet without limits… till the 2000 dot-com bubble explodes and make us realise the real world still matters.


mobile in-communications

.... to mobile in-communications

We go wireless, we go mobile and we reconect with childhood buddies and old classmates thanks to smartphones seem to be an extension of our fingertips. The art of face-to-face conversation seems to be fading away.



B/W newspapers

From B/W newspapers….

The day starts with breakfast and checking the news in B/W newspapers, or on the couch to relax reading full color magazines on glasse paper in the evening …. We turn the pages. And repeat this ritual the next day.


color mags color mags & online sites…

Newspapers and magazines bring online versions feeding the idea of a future without print. We choose and read news enjoying customized experiences. Articles and news expire as we end the session.



… to multimedia

Print and digital media are now in social communities, blurring the lines dividing music, text and video. Images, infographies and sounds seem to have preference above text. Reading sessions are from a by gone era.



B/W ads

From paying subscribers…

If you want it, you buy it or subscribe to it. Page-sized ads secure a profitable media business.



… to banners and pop-ups…

Users refuse to pay for Internet services, resources and information sites…. but if we keep skipping banners and pop-ups how can media as we know it survive?



… to FB & Google Adwords

Google ad-words get into your mail and offer customised ads while you browse. Online marketing and web newsletters lead the way as e-commerce grows. FB users play games and online payments gain terrain.




From one-way information….

Big, corporate media groups decide which news we get. And we don't know other than postal mail to receive cards, bills and news from family & friends.


chat programs

… to limited feedback…

Communicating instantly by e-mail and chat seems a natural thing. Some expose their lives through myspace, share their interests through blogs, give opinions on Yahoo groups and forums, but immediate both-ways communication was still far away.


social media programs

… to constant interaction

Wireless and mobile communications allow people to stay in touch all the time, instantly sharing emoticons and thoughs in the form of postings on Twitter, FB, BBM, Whatsapp... We got the power of the word.



local content

From local…

News agencies and editors decide which news to serve us. Globalisation is incipient and most of the news are local with a focus on content analysis.


global content

… to global…

In a globalized world one bumps into different versions of the same thing, writen by anyone, everywhere... but are sources trustworthy? Watch out! Hoaxes walk freely through the internet and gain "veracity".


personal content

… to personal

Is it not so important if it is true... it is just matter of presence and inmediateness. We stay permanently connected to our mobiles and laptops, but we just get and share shallow, minimal pieces of global, local and personal information through tweets and FB posts.




From "reliable sources"

Information is an exclusive field belonging to professionals working within a structured network conformed by chief editors, journalists, reporters and correspondents, fed by "anonimous, reliable sources" and news agencies.



… to Bloggers…

We witnes the "democratization" of information: the Blogger phenomenum (between 2.4 million to 2.9 million active blogs in 2003). But how long will they last and how many will survive?


social media

… to "chit chat" nonsense

Anybody with access to internet can share his/her opinion even if you are no expert. And we find ourselves skimming the information looking for the most solid one. Professionals and experts get a new chance to gain control of media on Internet.




From Letraset and cutters…

Designers come from art and design schools and assemble texts and pics by hand with scisors, cutters, pencils and Letraset sheets on glossy paper.


illustrator pixels and Flash animations…

Designers get digital as desktop publishing takes over manual tasks. Internet opens a new field in creativity and new category of specialists emerges to change the shape of the web: webdesigners, webmasters, webmarketers, webdevelopers, webprogrammers….


php program

... to Web 2.0 interactivity

Focusing on interactivity the Web 2.0 brings social networs, blogs, wikis, streaming video, web applications and online services. As technology evolves, webdesigners are forced to become webprogrammers and - together with IT specialists - work with Responsive Web design for optimal viewing and lively user-experiences in PCs laptops, netbooks, smartphones and tablets.



contact sheet

From darkrooms

While we still need Photo Labs to print those happy moments, professional photographers begin to experiment with the first digital cameras and send pictures through telephone modems. Photoedition is performed only by photoartists in their darkrooms. No customarily photoedition yet in the media: only paper photos and slides to go directly to print.


Picassa album Photoshop
and digital amateurs…

Technology players (Samsung, Sony, Panasonic) take leadership of the camera market vs traditional photography players (Kodak, Nikkon, Cannon, Agfa). The digital revolution ends analogic photography as users get instant images which end up somewhere in their more printed pictures or albums to share those happy moments in the future. With Adobe Photoshop gaining control, photoedition is now in hands of professional designers who transform reality and manufacture divas. There is a fine moving line between real and fake!


Pinterest gallery

... to instant sharing

By the end of 2013, 1.4 billion smartphones will be in use, meaning 1.4 billion potential/active photographers worldwide carrying cameras 24/7. Pics are edited with Instragram, uploaded inmediately to Pinterest, Picassa albums or shared instantly on FB, Twitter or BBM or Whatsapp. While amateurs' picture life is limited to those happy posting moments and the regular camera business heads towards the grave, technology keeps evolving showing professional photographers that the sky is the limit.


                                 Colors Magazines
COLORS from Print to Digital

A look back in time, 1998-2013

Bringing COLORS from a dream to a concrete thing was a natural step for Tirzah Libert, COLORS' publisher. After many years producing Trade Winds, the inflight magazine for ALM, the structure was in place for a publication that could leverage on the void left by the closing down of the Antillean airline.

Liberty Publications was founded in 1998 with the objective of publishing COLORS as the multicultural face and voice of all races, languages, cultures and countries in the Dutch Caribbean. That concept was translated into a printed magazine released quarterly. COLORS entered in forced pause until 2012 when leveraging on the power of internet, to inflate new life in COLORS, and become The online publication of ethnic minorities in the Dutch Kingdom.

A different ball game

Tirzah explains: I approached this project with the same philosophy I apply in life and which is reflected in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: "I don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step". My experience of the past was an asset; however, shortly after starting I realized that online publishing is a whole new ballgame. And not only, the whole universe of internet posed questions and called for decisions for which I had no ground to decide upon. Questions from the team when setting up the site, defining content, confronted me with the fact that journalism, the publishing industry, distribution, sales of advertising space and all the other aspects of publication had changed dramatically by internet, technology and social media. These aspects were either overlooked or underestimated by me.

Balance: growth and learning as we go

In retrospective it has been an interesting year. In any case, one defined by growth and a steep learning curve. The balance is positive. COLORS' readership and number of contributors has grown consistently each month.

Challenges ahead

Finding ways to finance the operation in a sustainable manner and incorporate (social media) technology in a way that allows our readers to interact with COLORS, are the most imperative ones.

Upcoming plans

By increasing the number of regular contributors to which we offer exposure with links and banners leading to their own website in exchange for content, and publishing in other languages, like Dutch and Spanish, we will further penetrate the Dutch and Latin American markets.

techies & newbies

By Guillermo Kaswalder and Claudia Schalkx

Infography: Filmagen

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