With this issue, we enter a new era in the history of our publication. It's such a special occasion that I'm breaking away from my normal focus on the industry to talk about this change for our publication. It comes as we prepare to celebrate another monumental occasion — the 25th anniversary of our magazine, which will occur later this year.
What is the cause of such fanfare? It's the launch of the digital edition of our magazine. If you've been a reader of the magazine for many years, you may recall that we launched a “digital” version of the magazine about six years ago, but digital editions were in their infancy then (really not much more than a PDF), and that digital version quickly faded. That's the way it often is when you try something new. It doesn't always work the first time. Sometimes, you need to take a step back, re-evaluate, perhaps wait for technology and the times to catch up, and then try it again.
The times certainly have caught up now, and digital editions are becoming more popular each year. The digital edition we offer today has so many more options than we could have thought of six years ago that I have to keep myself from laughing at our first effort. Back then, we never thought about linking e-mail addresses and Web sites to our digital edition, but we've done that in the new digital edition. We never thought of making the digital edition searchable by keyword, but in the new digital edition, you can do just that. We never thought about adding video and audiocasts to the old digital edition, but in the new one, you will be able to watch video and listen to audiocasts. We never considered adding more photos to the old version, but today's version allows us to do so. We also never thought of doing quick pop-up surveys or “blowing in” ads that didn't appear in the print version, but in the new digital edition, both options are possible.
It's an exciting prospect for editors who had been so tied to the printed word. We can no longer call ourselves print journalists exclusively, now that we also have a Web site, a blog, an e-newsletter and now a digital magazine that includes videos.
It's also exciting because the magazine's staff members want to do our part to reduce waste and work and live “green.” By offering a digital edition to readers, we are saving trees, reducing the use of printing and paper plant chemicals, and saving on electricity and other costs that go into producing more than 30,000 printed copies of the magazine each month.
Of course, those of you who aren't interested in a digital edition of the magazine may be worried that all this talk about going digital and going green could mean an end to your printed copy of the magazine. Don't worry. The printed magazine will continue. I, too, still like to hold paper in my hand as I read. We will work hard to improve the printed magazine and make it more environmentally friendly where we can.
Even if you aren't interested in getting the digital edition of the magazine, you can check out a sample version of it on our Web site at www.fitnessbusinesspro.com just to see what you are missing. Who knows? After a look, you may change your mind. We wouldn't hold it against you.
Whether you receive the magazine in print or in a digital format, you are still a valuable subscriber to us, and we'll do our best to bring you the best content possible in both formats.