Monday, September 29, 2008

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine--Digital version

“The Old Schoolhouse Magazine” has gone digital! A digital magazine is a new concept for me, but since I am a true bibliophile my curiosity over this new media for books and magazines won out over tradition. My recent brief yet careful test drive of the Summer 2008 issue enabled me to experience the world of a digital magazine subscription and left no paper trail.

Interested digital subscribers to “The Old Schoolhouse Magazine” simply subscribe, pay on-line and instantly receive a downloadable copy at their website, The $16.95 price for a digital subscription is a $8.05 savings from the traditional hard copy subscription. The instant gratification and convenience of having your favorite magazine on your computer is another definite advantage to a digital subscription. All websites referenced in advertisements or stories within the digital magazine issue are highlighted in blue and provide live links to their internet sites. This handy aspect allows you to instantly jump to websites for further research with a click of a mouse. I found this aspect extremely helpful and enjoyable as I read through some advertisements I had missed with my hard copy.

Helpful navigation tool explanations greeted me opposite the front cover of the magazine. This short education helped get me up to speed with the technology of the digital format with a very small learning curve. As I clicked to turn subsequent pages the virtual pages actually curled up providing an illusion of turning the pages of a book. This provided me with the visual satisfaction of thumbing through the magazine; however the pages turned too slowly for my tastes. The speed of the page turns might be resolved with a speedier computer than I currently own.

I have a couple of tool bars on my computer screen which did not allow me to view the entire page of the magazine at a glance. I found it frustrating to scroll up and down the page ever so slightly in order to view the entire page. Another negative was the type size of the first view of the pages. (Think 6pt. font) The smaller font made it difficult for me to scan articles in order to know whether to read more in depth. With a simple click anywhere on the page the smaller view is magnified, however my old problem of not being able to view the whole page at once re-surfaced. Since I am a bit “old school” in the arena of books and magazines I found this to be a big adjustment and one I’m not sure I am ready to embrace.

Although I am not a fan of digital magazines, I believe the presentation and ease of navigation of “The Old Schoolhouse” digital issues are well designed. If you are not sure you want to commit to a whole subscription of digital magazines you can purchase a single copy at for $5.95. If you decide you miss the feel of the paper between your fingertips you can simply print off the issue on your home printer and call it a day.

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