We all remember with a wry smile when Bill Gates predicted the paperless office, and have often read that paper consumption per capita continues to rise at a rate that predicts our children will be buried up to their necks in the stuff within their lifetimes. Research we and others have done continues to verify that, despite the onset of the digital age and our penchant to spend increasing amounts of time seeking and acquiring information on the Web, you love paper. So do I.
I also stand in awe of the technology and human resourcefulness that have evolved over the past century to deliver us huge quantities of virtually perfect paper in every conceivable weight, strength, finish and character. Despite its incredibly low cost, the symbolism and beauty of a blank sheet aren’t to be wasted lightly, and at Plant Services we strive mightily to put every page to good use.
But from felling trees to running mail trucks, it takes a lot of energy to put the paper version of this magazine in your hands. Not only does it consume increasingly precious fossil fuels and release attention-getting greenhouse gases, our costs of printing and mailing an issue are rising with no end in sight.
So you know when we suggest you subscribe to our digital edition and ask you to find out if you don’t see it as at least as useable and useful as the paper magazine, we stand to profit. But so do you.
Our digital edition is posted on the site a week or more before your issue comes by snail mail, and as a digital subscriber, you’ll be notified as soon as it’s available. And if you’re attentive to your e-mail, you’ll receive that notification whether you’re at your snail mail address or elsewhere.
The digital edition includes everything in the magazine, exactly as it appears in the regular issue. It’s easy, intuitive and fun to peruse, and when you find something you’d like to bring to the attention of a friend or coworker, you can easily send a link to the exact page by e-mail, across the hall or around the world.
You may have noticed the ever-increasing number of URLs in the print edition. In the digital edition, these are all live, so it’s quick and convenient to access related resources or further information, or to contact a writer or advertiser. Also, there are links on images and text in the digital edition that can’t be done in the paper version.
As time goes on, you’ll see more of these links connected to audiovisuals as we take increasing advantage of the Web’s multimedia capabilities. Our digital edition technology invites flash video, sound and context-sensitive features we’re working on harnessing to your advantage. As we carefully exercise these capabilities, we’ll be seeking your opinions and approvals – our digital edition is pointless if you don’t like it.
Along with encouraging existing subscribers to tap the digital edition, we’re opening it up to our international audience. Since our inception, maintenance, asset management and reliability professionals outside North America have had to satisfy themselves with the prodigious content of PlantServices.com or pay a hefty subscription fee to receive the monthly magazine by surface mail. Now you can receive the timely digital edition for free.
Our current digital edition can be found at www.PlantServices.com/digital_edition. You can find a link to subscribe there, or go directly to www.omeda.com/cgi-win/ps.cgi?main (this is also where you can renew to be sure you continue to get the conventional magazine).
Paper-lovers who are willing to put some of your own to good use will find it’s easy to print out the articles you want. If that doesn’t satisfy your hankering to fell big, old tree, here’s how to do it safely: www.expertvillage.com/videos/felling-trees-tools.htm.