5 Reasons To Take Your Publication Online

People read publications because they want content that entertains, enlightens, and informs them. Your readers form an audience with shared interests—a community. Are you maximizing their editorial experience with an online presence? Here are five reasons why you should be:

1. Conversation. The problem with a print-only publication is that the conversation is primarily one-way. The writers and editors publish information for the audience; the audience reads and rarely responds. Even when people write in to the editor, it is not a conversation but a response. Taking your publication online allows you to build your reader community by encouraging them to participate in the conversation via social-networking functions such as commenting.
2. Time. There is no way that print can keep up with the speed of interactive media. You may want to create a digital publication that allows the audience to subscribe to a feed so the content can be streamed to an application like Google Reader or My Yahoo Reader. This is the new new delivery.
3. Cost. With the rising cost of paper and postage, you might want to consider downsizing your print publication and focusing instead on creating a robust interactive counterpart. Farewell Christian Science Monitor print version.
4. Exposure. Searchability, sharing, and social networking can build exposure for your publication and organization. This is especially important for circulation-based publications that rely on large readerships. Embrace the wisdom-of-crowds theory. Just ask those Threadless guys.
5. Analysis. Ever wonder what content your readers are finding most interesting? Previously that question could only be answered through market research techniques such as direct mail and focus groups, both of which can be costly. A well-developed companion website allows you to view the user activity and make adjustments based on real data, not vague survey questions.

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