Posts Tagged ‘cq’

QST Going Digital

You’ve probably heard the news by now.  Last week the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) announced what many of us hoped would eventually happen.  In June 2012, QST will be available in an on-line, digital edition version.  Now before anyone panics, QST will still be available in the same print version we all know and love.   So in addition to receiving the print version, ARRL members will also have access to the digital version at no additional cost. 

This news truly excites me.  There are a few monthly publications which I subscribe to in digital only format.  Some of these publications are only available this way.  However, many other magazines (and some supporting our very own hobby) have recently introduced digital content.  CQ Magazine is an example of this.  However, even if you subscribe to the paper version you must still pay extra for the digital version. 

Our hobby is unique (so are those individuals who participate in it) and as I stated, while some of the monthly publications I subscribe to are just fine in digital only versions, I must admit that for now I still want QST, CQ, RadCom and Practical Wireless delivered to my mailbox in paper form.   However, if you think I won’t use the new QST digital version, you would be wrong. 

The ARRL is going to do more with the digital version of QST than simply scan the magazine in and create a .PDF.  There will be content available via the digital version (and methods of delivering that content) which won’t be available in the paper version of QST.  Want a magazine article to jump out at you?  With the additional features available in digital content delivery, readers will have access to click links from articles, watch video,  listen to audio, print, share and search across the entire edition.  All of this included in the regular cost of membership.

Again, while other magazine publishers charge (and charge full price as well) for both a print and digital version.  I proudly take my hat off to the ARRL for doing this the right way and making both editions available.  This is another example of why I’m proud to not only be an ARRL Member, but a Life Member.

Until next time…

73 de KDØBIK

A startling reminder

I always look forward to receiving my QST and CQ magazines each month, and I dutifully run to the CQ web site every month when the latest PDF of Worldradio News is made available for download. I really do enjoy reading about our hobby and appreciate the authors who contribute to these publications (for very little money in return). Shoot, I even study the ads, including those that have not changed in decades. (Why do some vendors insist on showing the faces of every radio by every manufacturer, as if we make our purchasing decisions based on those tiny thumbnails? And will MFJ ever change the full-page Hy-Gain rotator ad?)

However, as I opened the current edition of CQ, I could not help but notice that the lead article is about all the new gear unveiled at Dayton this year. Dayton. As in May! And it’s August. We once took such delay in a story’s content as the norm. It is, after all, the nature of the magazine publishing biz that there must be considerable lead time.

But as I read the short writeup on the Elecraft KX3, I recalled that there was a YouTube video posted way back on May 20 featuring Wayne Burdick K6XR giving a very enlightening ten-minute demo of this interesting bit of kit. In color. With sound. Old news in CQ? I’m afraid so.

ARRL recently did a major update on their web site, but it is still clunky and hard to navigate. It does offer some video (welcome to the 21st century) and plenty of archived articles and reviews, all of which is much more current, colorful, and searchable than the magazine could ever be. CQ is also trying, buying World Radio News and offering it as a free download.

But I have to worry that the day will come when it is no longer economically feasible to mail me a magazine every month. I still prefer taking that paper-and-stapled pub out on the deck to read, or to Subway at lunch to peruse while I enjoy my Black Forest ham sandwich.

Won’t happen, you say? The traditional magazine will never go away. Okay, can I see your latest copy of Look or Life? Mind if I borrow your Saturday Evening Post?

I rest my case. Truth is, media consumers want their content in a wide variety of ways, and will choose such media on three primary criteria: 1) How easy it is to consume in all those myriad ways, 2) How compelling the content is, and 3) How cheap it is to access.

I’m afraid that does not bode well for QAT and CQ.


Don Keith N4KC


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