The world is going digital. Information that we use to find in printed material is moving to the web— one pixel at a time. So, is there still a place for the printed word? For me, print still has a place, but its uses are more limited. On a cold Wisconsin winter evening, there are few things I enjoy more than curling up in a cozy chair and getting lost in a good book. I like the weight of the book and the satisfaction of gauging my progress by the thickness of the pages left to be read.
And yet, when the power head on my vacuum cleaner quit working a few weeks ago, the first thing I did was turn on the computer. I looked at how much a new vacuum would cost, and how much it would cost to have this one looked at. Then my husband took apart a suspect connection, and with another quick Google search we had identified the part we needed. With a few simple clicks, we ordered the part. Six days and twenty-five dollars later, the vacuum was once again functioning properly.
My experience is not unique. To read for relaxation, most of us still reach for a book. But for information, we turn to the Web. Online we could view a schematic diagram of our 10-year-old vacuum cleaner and see pictures of the parts in an online catalog. We did it all sitting at our home computer without having to drag our two young children out to shop for vacuum cleaners. The web allowed us to fix our problem ourselves and saved us time, money and hassle.
As the Editor of Promega Notes, my job has always hovered between print and electronic media. While the articles are available online, the primary piece has always been printed. When I first learned of Promega’s global digital initiative, I struggled to think of ways I could still deliver the same technical content to our readers. We all get too many e-mails already, that couldn’t be the only way. Then it occurred to me that I should stop thinking of Promega Notes as it was, a tangible “thing” that we mailed to you. Instead I should view it as it could be: a dynamic resource that provides you with the information you need when you need it to get your work done.
We are no longer limited by the printed page. The possibilities are endless, and we are only just beginning our adventure in the digital world.
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