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The Serendipitous Sustainability Of Digital Publications

September 19, 2010
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The 1980s are long gone, and regardless if Frankie ever made it to Hollywood or not, the digital age is going through its second childhood.

In this instance, however, it is not an industry pushing the manila envelope of music; rather, it is the publishing industry taking significant steps at becoming more sustainable.

Like many great ideas, digital publications were not conceived with sustainable aims in mind; they just happen to be a beneficial byproduct.

Because today''s culture revolves around instant everything — coffee, potatoes, information, etc. — digital publications, which generally arrive in your inbox much sooner than a print version does in your mailbox, satisfy the "tell me now" mentality.

Digital publications also have increased flexibility in terms of content.

While the majority of digital pages appear to be carbon copies of their printed paper counterparts, they allow for more interactive content like audio and video files, keyword search features, live links to various websites and interactive surveys.

Subscribing to digital publications ensures that you are getting the full experience from the content provided.

Of course, there are dissenting views on nearly every topic — digital publications included.

Some simply enjoy holding a physical publication in their hands and manually thumbing through each page, which is understandable given the mobility of traditional print media.

Others claim digital publications are difficult to read because they are electronic replicas of their printed siblings and do not cater to the parameters of a computer screen.

Digital publications have become more user-friendly and, as more people opt for digital-only subscriptions and offer constructive criticism, their layouts and features will become more attuned to what readers want.

Make The Switch

Subscribing to digital publications is a simple way you can help save the Earth''s natural resources.

By bypassing the printing, binding and shipping processes, water and trees are saved, coal is not burned for electricity and fossil fuels are not consumed for transportation.

While the impact of each individual''s switch is negligible on its own, a collective switch will yield significant sustainable savings.

Some publishing companies — for cost savings reasons and realizing that the future of media is digital and Internet-based — now only offer digital versions of their offerings.

And, with the advent of portable reading devices like smart cellular telephones, the Kindle, the iPad and laptop computers with the ability to access the Internet through wireless local area networks (WLAN), digital publications can be taken anywhere to which you travel.

If you''re ready to make the switch and play your sustainable part — and interact with some additional content you wouldn''t otherwise experience with a print version — get in touch with your newspaper of choice, your favorite consumer magazine or your preferred source for how-to and best practice management for the commercial cleaning and maintenance industry and request your subscription be updated to reflect your digital-only desire.

To experience the digital version of Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine, click here.

If you like what you see and would like to subscribe to the digital version of Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine, click here.

As with any emerging technology, feedback is necessary to continually improve an offering.

As such, we welcome your thoughts on how we can provide you with a better digital experience.

If there is a particular aspect of a digital offering you find useful and enjoyable or if you have suggestions for improvements, please send your comments to Managing Editor Aaron Baunee.

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