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Paper or Pixels? New MCNDigital Offers New Choices

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Like the clerk in the supermarket checkout line, Metal Center News now gives you a choice about how you prefer your products packaged. But rather than the paper-or-plastic question, it's paper or pixels?

Since the beginning of the year, Metal Center News publications have been available to subscribers in a digital format so they can be read on computers, tablets and smartphones. Each month, readers receive a reminder that their MCNDigital copy is ready to view, with a link that takes them directly to the latest issue. The new option is proving popular with a significant segment of readers. Even first-time users report that the format is highly intuitive and easy to navigate.

Like all publishers, Metal Center News is in a state of evolution. The Internet is changing the way people seek out information, so we are changing the way we provide it. Some readers prefer the electronic approach, others the look and feel of the traditional magazine. We’re hoping that by offering both on-screen and on-paper options, we will meet everyone’s needs.

MCNDigital is meant as a supplement to the regular print edition, rather than a replacement. Only print subscribers can gain access to the digital editions. Readers cannot opt for a digital-only subscription. We want our print and digital products to enhance readers' overall experience, rather than to compete with each other. Therefore, the digital edition is made available to readers approximately two weeks after the print version arrives in the mail. Expect each issue’s link to be emailed to you around the 1st of the following month.

Despite what you read (most likely on the Internet), print is far from dead. In the 1950s, the pundits said television would kill radio. Obviously, radio is alive and well. Indeed, the "experts" of the last century could not even have conceived of the satellite and Internet radio we have today. To assert that today's technology spells the same doom for print media is equally shortsighted and simplistic.

We feel confident that after some period of shakeout, print and electronic media will learn to coexist. If done properly, they should complement each other. Each publication, depending on the nature and the needs of its readership, will find its own mix. At Metal Center News, we'll give subscribers the option to read each monthly edition, as well as our supplements and directories, in print or online--first one, then the other. We hope readers find both formats useful. Read one, revisit the other. Clip one, download the other. Share them both with coworkers and employees. Let us know what you think. We believe the answer to the question is paper AND pixels.