For the past few years, magazines have largely fallen over themselves to branch out beyond just print. Today, in addition to receiving a hardcopy in their mail, magazine readers can (and do) regularly check out electronic editions online or visit Websites to read expanded versions of various magazine articles.
Which is why CropLife IRON remains something special to its fans. When our parent company launched this equipment-focused magazine almost a decade ago, it was positioned as a vehicle to let products and pictures tell the story, not just text. That’s also why the decision was made to make CropLife IRON a tabloid – allowing it to present these pictures in a larger-than-normal format.
And during the interim, while most trade magazines have moved their entire print editions online, many of the features regularly presented in CropLife IRON have remained “print-centric.” Examples of this include Ignition, IRON Tours and New Products, which can only be found in the printed magazine.
Now over the past few years, I’ve occasionally wondered if there is a place for a “true” magazine in a digital-run world. And at the recent Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association meeting in Peoria, IL, I happened to bring this point up with one ag retail representative I was talking with.
“I think CropLife IRON is a great magazine,” he responded. “For me, it’s a guilty pleasure, kind of like Playboy. Sure, I could find some of this stuff online, but there’s something about seeing the pictures up close in my own hands that makes it really special.”
Other folks I spoke with at the event expressed similar views – how holding a copy of CropLife IRON (or any magazine, for that matter) in their hands provided a total “reading experience” that can’t be duplicated using a smartphone or laptop computer.
In a digital, “three minute” attention span kind of world, it’s nice to know there’s still room for some printed guilty pleasure reading.