It's a Print-Free (Info)World

Checking in from the front lines of a paperless publication

Welcome to the first all-electronic version of the Editor's Letter. Not to get all Garrison Keillor on you, but it's been a busy week at InfoWorld.com, my homepage. As many of you know, we published the last hard-copy paper edition of InfoWorld magazine on April 2; from now on, it's all Web, all the time (plus RSS, newsletters, and conferences, natch) for us. With any luck, the transition will look smooth from the outside. From the inside, we're changing the tires while the vehicle is still moving: overhauling workflows, remaking columns as blogs, revamping our editorial calendar, reworking our deals with writers and illustrators, and so on. Hence that earlier reference to a "busy week."

Admittedly, I'm wearying of writing about print's demise, what with my initial blog post and my previous Editor's Letter, and countless e-mails. Still, the responses I've gotten from readers has been so thoughtful and heartfelt that they demand comment. The feedback on the Tech Watch blog was mixed with many readers acknowledging the inevitability of the changeover and wishing us good luck and others decrying it and bidding us farewell.

The personal e-mails I received, however, were almost uniformly negative, sprinkled liberally with words like "shocked," "saddened," and even "appalled." As a reader noted, "It will take a tremendous amount of personal value add to convince me to spend more, instead of less, time online." I hear you loud and clear, and we'll be working hard to provide that "value add" in the coming months. Drop me a line and tell me what you'd like to see, and join me for a chat on April 17 at 11 a.m. PDT in Exec-Connect to discuss our print-to-online transition.

Another observation about InfoWorld magazine in print: It made for popular bathroom reading. I received at least 30 e-mails or blog responses noting that people will miss taking their copy of the latest print edition into the loo with them. I'm not entirely sure what to do with that information, although it does suggest a new product category ripe for exploitation: Web enabled heads-up displays that project on the bathroom wall facing the toilet. OK, all you entrepreneurs; I've done my part. Now it's your turn.

On the subject of changes, Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field has made a graceful transition to the blogosphere. Instead of the accustomed weekly dose of industry gossip, insider news, and vitriol, Cringe will be posting daily to his blog. If you have some juicy tidbit for our sultan of snark, I encourage you to post a comment to the Cringely blog or send an e-mail to cringe@infoworld.com. The best submissions will receive a garish, shocking yellow "I Spy 4 Cringely" bike messenger bag -- which pretty much guarantees you'll never be able to go undercover again.

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