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Digital Media Blitz

Crafting up the Sunday Read

As the age of print slips away, more and more people are turning to tablets to sit back, relax and read a few good stories. Many of us enjoy nothing more on a rainy Sunday morning than to ease back into a comfortable chair, put the legs up and read through the paper or a few magazines.

I’ve spent the year converting my print subscriptions to digital wherever possible. With a love for all things motorcycles as well as keeping up with the latest in computer technology, my house would easily fill with a half dozen magazines or more a month. Stack the Sunday paper on top of that and it doesn’t take long to amass a large stack of periodicals that have little value to me a month or two later.

My tablet has reduced my cleaning chores. I’ve crafted up a folder I call ‘Sunday’ in the favorites section of my browser and use it to store all the links to my favorite news, lifestyle and of course motorcycle reading material. And the best part is I don’t need any special apps or have to download any proprietary software. A simple web browser reveals all.

Here’s a brief rundown of what’s in that folder.

General news: I have links to my local newspaper as well as National Public Radio (npr.org) and my local NPR affiliate radio station. Between these three links, I can pretty much get up to speed on national and local news. We do pay for a subscription to the local paper, which provides all access to the site. I also support my local NPR station with an annual membership purchase.

Tech News: Using a subscription I bought through Zinio, I can read PC World. I also have a link direct to their site as well as PC Magazine where more content gets blogged in weekly. Using a link to Best Buy’s weekly insert, I can peruse the latest in consumer technology and get my gift list ready for December.

… And now the good stuff – MOTORCYCLE NEWS

Motorcyclist Magazine – This one arrived by default when another subscription I had left Zinio and offered a free replacement. I used to loathe this magazine 15 years ago as it was highly focused on hooliganisms, and incredibly sexist. But somewhere along the way, I suspect when editor Mitch Boehm departed, these guys cleaned up their act and became a decent publication. I only realized this recently.

Cycle World – In the old days of Cycle World it was a pretty decent publication. Tbhen it went to hell and it appears to be back from middle earth doing a decent job covering world moto news we can use.

Motorcycle Consumer News – This was the subscription I had through Zinio. When the marriage failed (I was never notified by either Zinio or MCN) I thought maybe they went under. Not so. Currently MCN publishes a nice e-version of the magazine to their website and from what I can tell it’s free to everyone. I will purchase a new subscription with them soon, as long as I can be assured I won’t get a print copy in the mail.

What’s really nice about the format is you can read it either in page view or magazine style view. I’ve never enjoyed reading magazines online in a magazine style format, so this is a really nice option.

The Drive – I have a link for the motorcycle section of this all-encompassing motor head magazine. New bike reviews and national news are getting blogged in all the time.

RideApart – Another publication that does a nice job providing news from around the world in motorcycling and sometimes they come up with the most bizarre things.

Sound RIDER! – Okay – I’ll admit, I don’t have a link to it in my Sunday folder since I live it 7 days a week and spend more time involved with this magazine than probably anyone else on the planet. For 20 years now, we’ve been providing informative content with a Pacific Northwest slant in an online-only format. Subscription is free, but if you want to support us, purchase goods from the online store or join us for one of our tours or at our rally each summer.

Please turn your ad blocker off if you’re using one, see who the advertisers are who support our magazine and support them if you’re so inclined.

What’s missing

American Motorcyclist – No e-zine version yet. I hope it comes soon. In the meantime I'll read the paper mag which I get as part of my annual membership with the American Motorcyclist Association. Thier website does dish up new content now and then as well. Thier e-mail newsletters are also informative.

Rider Magazine - No e-zine yet, but there's a monthly newsletter I got placed on to that has some nice updates. I do pay for a subscription to the paper mag.

Club newsletters – One of my local clubs has produced a print magazine for years. More recently they moved it to digital only, holding to the magazine-style format which was a pain to read on a tablet. Then they got a new editor who dropped the ball and published 3 issues for the entire year. That club is now looking for a new editor.

My suggestion to any clubs that publish a monthly newsletter: make it only online and move it to a page read/blog-style format using WordPress or some other simple device that makes it easy for an editor to post stories and easy for members to read.

Patrick Thomas/October 2018


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