Time flies on the Information Superhighway. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 24 months since School Nutrition uploaded its first digital version of your favorite professional magazine. For two years since, the editorial team has incorporated a number of digital-related steps into our regular monthly production process. Review for errors unique to this format, create a live link on SchoolNutrition.org, promote the issue through social media, update the Bonus Web Content page—check, check, check, check. It’s become a part of our routine in producing SNA’s flagship publication. Imagine our surprise, then, to conduct a reader survey in Spring 2013 and discover that a significant majority of you say that you had no idea that a digital edition existed or that you could access additional content made available exclusively online! Shame on us for not doing better in raising your awareness to the online opportunities that School Nutrition offers. Sure, we understand that many of you don’t consider yourself to be, shall we say, on the “bleeding” edge of technology. And be assured that we have no plans to eliminate our print edition. Nonetheless, electronic communications increasingly are the way of today’s world, and publications (general consumer and professional/ trade) are responding to a rising market demand to provide “content” (i.e. information) in multiple formats in order to cater to customer preference. Leveraging digital technologies also allows us to give you more—more information, plus more ways to use that information and be engaged with it and us. Of course, “more” has its limitations, given the fact that time hasn’t expanded along with our access to information. But if you don’t make some time to investigate what’s available, you likely will miss out on something valuable— maybe even something that would help you save time… which you can reinvest in more electronic explorations. Start by making a New Year’s resolution to spend a little more screen time with School Nutrition in 2014. Digital Edition The digital edition is a mirror to the print version. It has all the same editorial content and advertisements, laid out in the same order. At present, the digital edition is available in two primary formats. You can access it through a web browser (like Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome), and it will look pretty much the same whether you’re looking at it on your home computer, your laptop or your Droid smartphone. Simply type in www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazinecurrent, and you will arrive at a page with a link to take you directly to the most current issue available. A few months ago, our vendor made an additional iOS version available, which means it’s a bit easier to read and access if you have an iPad or iPhone. When other apps for improved viewing on Android phones, Kindles or other devices become available, we’ll be sure to let you know! But if you have an Internet connection, you’ll be able to access it on virtually any system. Now, let’s look at why you should give it a try. Convenience. While tablets (the multifunctional cousins of the original e-readers) are experiencing explosive growth, the percentage of readers who are 100% “pure” about consuming all content in digital form is unimpressive. But digital formats allow many more readers to mix and match reading preferences based on an array of factors. For example, let’s say you started reading this issue the day the print edition arrived in your mail box, but now you’re packing to attend SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference in Miami and don’t want to one more thing to carry. If you’re connected to the Internet through your phone, tablet or laptop, you’ll be able to finish that article on menuing legumes in your hotel room! Or, maybe your magazine hasn’t arrived in the mail yet, but you want to do a quick scan of the table of contents in advance. Perhaps you’ve found yourself with an unexpected half-hour wait while your car is being serviced. Doggone it, why didn’t you bring the last School Nutrition to read—this would have been the perfect time to catch up?! Never fear, the digital issue is here! Sharing. Every time we conduct a reader survey, we hear about how frequently you bring a particular article, idea or advertisement that you discovered in the magazine to the attention of a colleague, supervisor or employee. Rather than giving up permanent or temporary custody of your hard copy (or seeking a copier) and waiting to see the person or use snail mail, the digital issue features a simple e-mail sharing function. Quick Links. While the editorial team uses the “tinyurl” site to keep web addresses for further resources short and sweet, we know it’s not convenient to type out the URL for an interesting report or advertiser site. On the digital edition, all web links are live; with a simple click, a new browser window will open and take you where you want to go! Future Reference. Some of us are packrats who like to keep a library of past issues we can thumb through to find an old article that has new resonance given recent changes in the school nutrition environment. But if space is a premium for you at home or the kitchen office, you can easily access every digital issue online. Plus, you can take advantage of a terrific search function to locate the specific article you wanted to reference—or to find related content on the same topic. BONUS WEB CONTENT Every month, the magazine’s editorial team faces a troublesome dilemma: We don’t have space in the print edition to deliver all the content we’d like to offer on a particular subject. A few years back, we started offering this bonus content to you online, where space isn’t a factor. In each print issue, you’ll find a box that looks like this. It describes what additional items are available as exclusive extras. Don’t have an easy opportunity to go from print edition to your computer? Well, in addition to noting another benefit of checking out our digital edition, School Nutrition has set up a web page where you can find all bonus web content items: www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazinebonuscontent. Bookmark it the next time you’re online and make it a habit to visit it once each month to see what new resources have been posted. In 2013, we published 44 Bonus Web Content items—that’s an average of four additional items in every issue of School Nutrition! These ranged from short articles and interviews to extra recipes and culinary tips to helpful charts and resource lists—plus much more. See what you’ve been missing? Take an hour or so to give School Nutrition’s digital offerings a try some quiet cold weekend this winter. You might be surprised at how easy they are to access—and be amazed at how a little screen time can transform the way you use your favorite professional publication! www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazinecurrent
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.