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Click Once, Lean Back and Enjoy Our Digital Edition

Readers of the San Diego Business Journal and visitors to our website may have noticed that we have launched a digital edition of our print publication. Actually, we have been testing various versions of a digital edition for more than a year. A few of our readers have participated as beta testers (thank you) of the digital fruits of our ongoing development efforts. We now have a digital edition platform that meets our key criteria. First, we wanted a digital edition that faithfully re-creates and even enhances the production qualities we work so hard to impart to the print edition. Our first concern is for the reader and we wanted to be sure that the digital reading experience offers all the ease of the print reading experience. Second, and equally important, we wanted to continue to deliver the same value to advertisers in the digital edition that we have long delivered in print. Indeed, with the digital edition, we are actually able to enhance the value of advertising, thus offering the advertiser more value without additional cost. Third, we were determined to make the digital edition convenient to download, and readable on any commonly available computing platform — Mac or Windows, desktop, laptop, tablet or even smartphone — without an app or third party. Fourth, we required that the digital edition be accessible from our website with a single click of the mouse or tap of the finger, regardless of the computing platform on which it is being viewed (we call this one-click access). Fifth, we wanted the digital edition to feature tools so readers could interact with the editorial and advertising content of the issue and easily navigate the edition. Finally, we required that the digital edition be accessible from anywhere the reader has access to the Internet and that it be downloadable for reading when there is no access to the Web — on an airplane or at the beach, for example. Print Edition Lives OnA note to the readers of our print edition: We know that many of you reading this column prefer our print product that, let me hasten to add, we have absolutely no plans to discontinue. Print remains the centerpiece of our business model. Indeed I am often asked about the future of print. My response: Print has served us for more than 400 years and will continue to serve us for the foreseeable future. Digital now serves alongside print, allowing us to meet the increasingly diverse needs of our mobile, technically sophisticated subscribers. With all of this, we have met or exceeded the technical objectives for the digital edition while successfully integrating our digital edition with our print edition. Indeed, however you read the San Diego Business Journal — the print or digital edition — you will see exactly the same editorial and advertising content in both versions.I am using this column in our annual Economic Trends issue to formally introduce the San Diego Business Journal digital edition because I believe our digital edition, along with the digital editions now being launched by hundreds of other publishers, represents an exciting new era in the economy of print media. I fearlessly make this prediction for several reasons. Most importantly, the advent of tablet computers — symbolized by the rapid global adaptation of what is now an iconic computing device, the Apple iPad (Apple Inc. has sold more than 40 million iPads since introducing the device in April 2010) — enable many of the benefits of print enhanced by the capabilities of digitization. Like print, tablets are portable and their increasingly sharp display screens truly enhance text, graphics and advertising content. Bringing digital into the mix adds interactivity, search-ability and anywhere access. Best of all, like print, it allows for the comfortable, lean-back reading experience that makes print such a relaxing and engaging medium, versus the lean-forward reading experience necessitated by reading on traditional computing devices like desktop and laptop computers. I mention above the lean-back versus the lean-forward reading experience. These, of course, are simply code words to describe a much larger experience. Lean-back reading is often done in a comfortable setting, sometimes with beverage and even food at hand. The Sunday paper at Starbucks with your favorite cup of coffee, or the San Diego Business Journal at home in your favorite chair. The lean-back reading experience can be indulged almost anywhere one can sit down and, well, lean back. The lean-forward experience is not nearly as comfortable and requires that one be seated at a desk or table, which means, in most cases, that you are in a work or working environment when reading leaning forward. Tablet Sales Taking OffAs noted above, Apple, and now Amazon.com Inc., Samsung, Barnesandnoble.com LLC and others, are collectively selling huge numbers of tablet computers. While Amazon does not release sales figures for the Kindle Fire tablet computer, Amazon recently reported the device is the best selling product in its history. More importantly to the interests of companies serving the business-to-business marketplace, businesses are embracing tablet computing. From commercial real estate to health care, tablet computers are now commonplace in the workplace of all types of businesses. We invite you to visit our website (www.sdbj.com) and click or tap on the image of the current issue that appears on the front page of the site. We are offering free access to the digital edition for a limited time to visitors who register with us. Of course, paid subscribers already have access to the digital edition at no additional cost.So the process is simple, go to our website, click or tap once on the image of the current issue, and — if you happen to have a tablet computer — lean back and enjoy the same award-winning editorial content you have long enjoyed in print. Welcome to our digital edition and to the age of the digital newspaper. Reo Carr is editor-in-chief of the San Diego Business Journal and corporate vice president of digital media for the parent company, California Business Journals.

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