You might notice that the copy of Quality Digest you’re holding in your hand is a little light. You’ve been telling us for years that we had too many advertising pages, so we delivered with fewer pesky ads to interrupt your reading pleasure. Is that customer service or what? Of course, we didn’t plan it that way.
As to why we’re skinny this month, our “Quality Curmudgeon” Scott Paton has analyzed the woes facing the publishing industry in his column, so I won’t do that here. Just flip to his column at the end of the magazine (which is much closer than it used to be) when you’re done here.
Obviously the print news industry, including trade publications, is quickly changing. Fortunately for us we have seen it coming and have been improving our online presence and adding exclusive content.
In case you haven’t been to our web site recently, here’s a brief overview of what’s available:
• The key feature is the addition of video. We both produce our own content and solicit content from others. The site currently hosts 50 videos, with about two videos being added each week. The most popular videos have been our Technorazzi and Viewpoint series.
• A brand new addition is live video programming with e-mail and chat. Live video allows us to show you new products in a format that lets you interact with the presenter, ask questions about the product, and/or tell the camera to zoom in on a feature.
• As well as the content that comes from our print edition, we add 20 or more web-only stories each month. Several of our exclusive online columnists, such as Bill Kalmar, Mike Micklewright, and Steven Ouellette, have become very popular with readers.
• All editorial content on the web is now available as an easily printed page. You can also sign up for RSS feeds for particular content, or e-mail any content to a friend or co-worker.
• It is now possible to comment on each editorial piece simply by clicking the Comments button beneath any article.
• It isn’t necessary to visit our web site every week to discover new content. We send out several subject-oriented e-newsletters each month to all of our readers, which provide the headline, abstract, and link to each new story. If you aren’t getting an e-newsletter and would like to, you can sign up at www.qualitydigest.com/content/subscribe .
• Of course we have forums, classifieds, and an events calendar as before.
The site isn’t perfect. There are glitches that are being worked on, some changes to the look and feel, and additions that still need to be made. While all that is going on, we want to hear from you. What do you want from the web site? What content would you like to see? What do you think is good about the site? What’s bad about it and needs to be improved? (No, we won’t get rid of the advertising. That’s what keeps the web site free for you and pays our bills.)
Finally, welcome to new columnists Donald J. Wheeler and Denise Robitaille. Wheeler is one of the leading authorities on statistical process control and applied data analysis. You can find his column here. Robitaille has been a reader favorite for both her online and print articles. You can find her column here.