Some of you will not see the Summer issue of Washington State Magazine. Or so you say. I hope I can change your minds.
I’m referring, of course, to our experimental online-only issue made possible by recent budget cuts. When I first announced a couple of issues ago that we would be dropping, temporarily, one print issue this year, many of you wrote to express not only your disappointment, but your unwillingness to read your magazine online.
I can’t blame you. In fact, you can’t imagine how much I sympathize. Nearing my 60th year, I’ve been reading and producing print magazines for a long time. I love print. I love its portability, beauty, and potential. Unfortunately, I don’t set our budget. The economy does.
And so, putting my bias aside, we’ve embarked on a digital adventure. Let’s have some fun with this digital issue; let’s do some things we can’t do in print. You’ll see more photography, more video, and some film clips from Cougar film makers. You’ll hear music by Cougars from across the musical spectrum. We’ll be introducing “My Story,” an unfettered Class Notes, if you will. Not only will you be able to let your fellow Cougs know what you’re up to without the space restrictions of the print magazine, you’ll be able to include baby photos or video of your wedding. You can sing your friends a song online if you like.
Mere bells and whistles! cries the old guard. Well, okay, maybe here and there. Regardless, we’re looking at all of these things as ways to better connect and engage all of you. But then again, yes, a good magazine is much more than mere bells and whistles.
Though the physical presence will be missing, I assure you the content will not. You’ll find the same quality of writing and reporting—along with some introspection. Our new science writer, Eric Sorensen, is hard at work exploring the “digital life,” what it means in terms of cognition, communication, and culture. We’ll also be looking at globetrotting young Cougar humanitarians and the changing role of the library.
And did I mention fun stuff? How about the ten greatest myths of WSU? Our intrepid web editor Larry Clark has already volunteered to spend a night in the attic of Bryan Hall to test the stories of Enoch Bryan’s ghostly presence. And you’ve surely caught our latest marketing tagline: “Because the world needs big ideas.” Well, we’re going to attempt to list the biggest. The best thing about online features such as these, fun or not, is that you can participate.
However, if I have still not assuaged your print longing, you can get a print version. We are working out a way for you to order a print-on-demand copy. It will cost around $12, but you get a bona fide paper copy. Come early May, visit our website for instructions.
You can also print either the PDF version or printer-friendly copies of individual articles. If portability is the issue rather than paper, you can get WSM on the Kindle digital reading device. Just go to the Kindle store and search for Washington State Magazine.
Finally, what it comes down to is not print versus online, but how well we do our job and how best to communicate. I happen to agree with many of you that there are certain things print does best, but in this budgetary meantime, we’re trying our best to do our job, and that is to connect you to WSU. And remember—we’ll be back in print for our Fall issue.
Tim Steury, Editor