Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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6/12/2013
03:32 PM
Rob Preston
Rob Preston
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A New InformationWeek Era

Our last print magazine ushers in a renewed commitment to innovating online, in digital magazines and in world-class live events.

I have referred often in this column to the forces of "creative destruction," the economic phenomenon whereby technological and other advances tear down legacy institutions to make way for innovative new approaches. Some readers have questioned my authority on that subject, asking in so many words: Where do you get off preaching about the virtues of tech-based disruption and displacement from your cushy editorial perch?

Well, InformationWeek has been living and thriving amid that creative destruction for many years now.

The latest case in point: After more than 1,300 print issues of InformationWeek over 28 terrifically turbulent years, our June 24 issue is our last print magazine. (For a retrospective on 25 of our best covers/cover stories in that span, see our slideshow, "InformationWeek's Most Important Cover Stories.")

But it's not a funeral. It's a commencement ceremony for an even better InformationWeek. Let me explain.

InformationWeek stopped being mainly a print magazine years ago. Consider that in 2000, more than 95% of our revenue came from print advertising and today it's less than 5%, and you'll appreciate the print-to-digital journey we've been on for more than a decade.

In that span, we've built up InformationWeek.com -- where today we post 25 to 30 stories, opinion columns, slideshows, research reports, video clips and other editorial content each day -- as the center of our brand. Three years ago, we created a simple, easy-to-use PDF-based digital magazine platform, and this year we'll deliver more than 50 InformationWeek issues on that platform.

And now we're embarking on a strategy to integrate those best-in-class online and digital editorial products more closely with our company's best-in-class live events (Interop, Black Hat, Enterprise Connect, Cloud Connect, E2 and others) to build more vibrant, interactive communities of IT professionals. There's much more to come on that front over the next six months.

What does "community" mean in the context of what we're doing? It's a place where IT professionals can take in the latest technical and business information; connect with their peers and with our teams of experts; and ultimately engage with that community of individuals to ask and answer questions, debate ideas and even argue (as civil professionals).

You may have noticed on this website that we're already tapping more senior IT professionals for commentary and analysis -- the likes of municipal CIO Jonathan Feldman, financial industry IT exec Coverlet Meshing, enterprise architect Imre Kabai, college CIO Keith Fowlkes, IT operations exec Jim Ditmore and our Secret CIO, John McGreavy. We'll continue to seek contributions from the most talented writers and thought leaders in the business technology community.

But you don't have to be a polished writer or presenter to engage with your IT peers and our writers on InformationWeek.com. We encourage you to weigh in regularly with observations, disagreements, insights and other comments on our online message boards, which we'll be revamping and moving to a new community platform called DeusM before the end of this year. We're very excited about that move.

InformationWeek would have gone the way of Newsweek years ago if we had stubbornly and naively resisted the forces of creative destruction and just hung on to our print magazine and other legacies. Instead, we have phased out the old to focus on the new and innovative.

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So which tech forces ultimately wiped out our print magazine? Not mobility. Magazines are eminently portable. Not search or interactivity. Readers tell us they still enjoy leafing through our magazine without distraction to discover the business technology trends and best practices we're known for analyzing.

To channel King Kong's Carl Denham, 'twas analytics killed the beast. Or at least wounded it. Advertisers today want to measure everything -- ad click-throughs, downloads, reader time on site/story, etc. -- and print magazines simply can't deliver those metrics. As a business, we must meet the needs of our advertising customers to finance the high-quality, wholly independent editorial we provide to our reader customers.

While we're not holding a funeral to say goodbye to InformationWeek as a print magazine, I'd be lying if I said we're indifferent to its demise. Many of us grew up professionally with ink in our veins and still have a soft spot for the printed word. But we've had electrons coursing through our capillaries for many years now, and we look forward to enhancing our online, digital and live event platforms to provide the highest-quality content and promote the most-vibrant IT community engagement in the months and years ahead.

Please drop us a note to let us know what we can do better to serve you and your organizations. And thank you for continuing to be a loyal reader of InformationWeek. It's an honor to engage with you.

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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/27/2013 | 2:29:20 PM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
"Faster than any of that computer stuff..."
Spoken like a true IT professional!. Let's go back to filing cabinets and IBM Selectric typewriters! So much faster and easier. Uh... now where did I leave that WhiteOut???
softwareagjim
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softwareagjim,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/26/2013 | 12:32:17 PM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
Digital wins - but my subscription ends. Congrats to InformationWeek for being the last paper holdout. I enjoyed reading the paper magazine at my desk. However, it wil now be like the others. The PDF version of IW is not convenient, and I consume all the other tech publications via web browser. Sorry to see you go.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2013 | 11:12:07 AM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
I agree, print was so much easier to handle and pass on. I read IW during my lunch break and despite (or exactly because) I work in IT I cannot afford a tablet that is of a reasonable size for reading a magazine. Aside from that, I would have to download the content at home because my work does not allow for foreign devices on the network (so much for BYOD).
Many will not even bother complaining. The decision is made, readers were not asked, and now we got the only option to deal with yet another web site with articles that are here today and gone tomorrow. Forget archiving or finding anything, filing away paper is so tremendously easier. Same way that index cards in the library get you to your books faster than any of that computer stuff.
awittmann941
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awittmann941,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/25/2013 | 2:35:01 PM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
Get Adblocker Plus for Firefox and you'll never see another ad on a website again. It makes all the difference in the world.
UBM TW
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UBM TW,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/25/2013 | 2:07:01 PM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
Rob, farewell to print, and good luck. I was an IWK writer and editor from 1990 to 1998...enjoyed seeing the best covers, thanks.
pardizzone01801
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pardizzone01801,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/25/2013 | 1:36:59 PM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
Another print mag dies and a website I will never come to (only came here to post this). I looked forward to the print edition every month as I don't commute and don't read digital mags or websites as they are full of obnoxious popup ads or more ads on a page then the actual content. I had to click through an ad just to reach the site this morning which immediately turns me off to it.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2013 | 1:24:10 AM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
As someone who started out working for daily newspapers, it's a sad day when the paper goes away. Charlie Babcock, a definitely senior writer @ InformationWeek
Raficus
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Raficus,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/24/2013 | 9:40:22 PM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
Have you thought of charging for the printed version? As a loyal
reader I value your content, and would be willing to subscribe or pay a
per issue rate if it wasn't too onerous.

From all the trade
magazines I subscribe to I have realized the ones I read the most are on
print and not digital. In the digital space, too many things compete
for my attention and I tend to skim rather than read.

My
circumstances may be out of the norm as I don't have a commute, sit on a
train or bus... I leave few minutes from work and thus I like my
reading the old fashioned way. But alas, this is business and "progress"
and I understand.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/24/2013 | 6:59:19 PM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
"Creative destruction" exactly describes what's going on in IT these days, what with cloud computing and new data platforms encouraging companies to rethink their technology selections and investments. The onslaught of digital media is, in part, driving interest in cloud-based marketing applications and big data analysis of social-sphere sentiment. We're all living in the same world.
Number 6
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Number 6,
User Rank: Moderator
6/24/2013 | 6:29:49 PM
re: A New InformationWeek Era
This is good. I had tried dropping the magazine a few years ago, with the intent of staying on the IW e-mails, but somehow that wasn't possible. I'm sure some readers will justifiably miss the paper, but for me this is fine.
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