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E-books: a new chapter begins

September 2009 News

The Technews model has always been one of an integrated media partner for our clients and an essential information resource for our readers.

For years we have offered:

* Magazines in print: Traditional paper and ink.

* E-zines: E-mail magazine version of the print articles.

* Websites: All the articles ever published since we established an online presence.

* Buyers’ guides in print: Traditional paper and ink.

* Buyers’ guides online: A cross-referenced searchable database of suppliers and service providers.

Each of these publications is designed as a forum for suppliers to disseminate their marketing messages to a targeted group of readers who consume the information in the published articles and use the advertisements and buyers’ guides as an aid to inform their purchasing decisions.

The model evolved over the years in response to changing market forces and the introduction of new technology. As with many successful strategies the key was the willingness to embrace the new challenges as they emerged, and adapt the company’s offering in line with the vision: “How can we best keep our readers informed of the latest trends and developments in the industry?”

Time has now come to start the next chapter and make SA Instrumentation and Control available as an e-Book. The e-Book adds an extra dimension to the company’s online presence through its interactive page turning with sound effects, and the fact that readers who prefer their information in digital format now get to view the complete content as it was printed – including the advertisements.

Horses for courses

Many publishing houses are starting to say, albeit somewhat tentatively, that e-Books are the future of reading. This may eventually turn out to be true as products like Amazon’s Kindle become more and more sophisticated. For the time being, and particularly in an environment where connectivity is limited and bandwidth expensive, my Technews colleagues and I find it more constructive to think of e-Books as supplemental to their printed counterparts, rather than: ‘The demise of the media as we know it.’

For instance, if I am purely looking to obtain facts such as: “On what date was Nelson Mandela released from prison?” I prefer to source my information online. I do this because search engines like Google allow me to find such information quickly and without having to break through layers of unwanted clutter. (Provided I type in a good choice of keywords of course.)

On the other hand, one of my preferred ways to spend holiday time is to stretch out in a deckchair with a favorite book or magazine. At the end of his column this month Jim Pinto explains my motives very eloquently: “One of the primary pleasures of a book is mental solitude; the deep, quiet focus on the author’s thoughts and your own.”

Advertisers take note, these are also the times I am most susceptible to your messages.

Hence we believe that there is a time and a place for both the electronic and the print formats of our publications. The older generation seems to prefer the traditional medium of print while younger readers tend to spend more time online. The real firestorm is going to start when we take advantage of the opportunities offered by synergy across the media to narrow the gap between generations and bridge the divide between advertisers and consumers better than could be done before.

The SAI&C e-Book can be viewed at: http://instrumentation.co.za/digital

We hope that you enjoy exploring this new medium with us.

Steven Meyer, editor:

SA Instrumentation & Control

steven@technews.co.za



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