|Column Tag:||The Publishers Page
Starting That Second Decade
By Neil Ticktin, Publisher/Editor-In-Chief
Starting That Second Decade
As Im sitting here writing this column, Im reflecting on our industry over the past decade. Maybe its the comparison of how we work today vs. 1984. Maybe its the fast pace of change in todays industry. Maybe its the opportunities we have before us. Or, maybe just maybe, I just havent had enough sleep.
Right now, Im sitting at a vacation resort with my Duo 280c with 18 megabytes of RAM, 300 meg of disk, a CD drive, and a DeskWriter - logged into ARA at 14.4 and handling e-mails at a furious rate (175 today alone), copying files in the background and writing this page in QuarkXPress®. In a matter of hours, this page will be ready to send electronically to the printer to make film as we bring this issue to life. What a far cry from the days when MacTech/MacTutor was first published with a 128k Mac, no hard drive, articles written in MacWrite, printed on an ImageWriter, pasted up with a glue gun, and then photographed with a conventional pre-press camera. Our industry - the computer industry - is truly impressive. Where else could so much change so quickly?
As many of you know, ten years ago, the original MacTech was founded by David and Laura Smith. Their goal was to disseminate programming information about the Macintosh without regard to ApplesDeveloper status. The original editorial board consisted of folks who shared a similar vision - they wanted to help the Macintosh succeed. Today, long after they sold the magazine, the Macintosh developer community is not much different - we still love the machine, and MacTech still doesnt care about your developer status.
As we start our second decade at MacTech Magazine, we are riding an unprecedented era of growth, strength, and improvement. Most of you are familiar with the editorial changes that we started 18 months ago and accelerated this year. Today, our staff is nearly three times what it was in 1992, and we just hired another person for our editorial staff. And while a typical magazine loses 40-60% of its readership each year (yes, it really is that much), our subscriber base has grown 45% net in the last 18 months.
But, while growth is great, its not everything. Today, MacTech is providing you more of what you wanted. While editorial quality is clearly a critical part of what we do for you, theres more. In the last few years, weve implemented a number of things for you because you asked for them. These ranged from online support to adding the date to the spine of the magazine. And theres more to come!
Whats up for 1995, Neil?
I thought youd never ask. As of this writing, several things are going on. For example, were putting together plans for even more online support than weve ever had before. This not only includes continuing the services that weve been providing to you for a while now, but expanded services on the net, and new services on eWorld.
Many of you already know about our new CD. The MacTech 1-9 CD should be ready by the time you read this. Every article of the magazine, volumes 1-9 has been moved into THINKReference format with hyperlinks to the Inside Macintosh databases. Initial response to our CD has been overwhelming and very positive. So, if you havent seen a demo, check it out.
For years now, Apple has put together a Developer Central showcase at Macworld. This year, using the best that Apple and MacTech have to offer, we are combining forces to bring the largest Developer Central ever to the show floor. The new Dev Central, sponsored by Apple Computer, Inc. and MacTech Magazine, will take place at Macworld Expo/San Francisco, January 4-7, 1995. Come by and say hello!
Those of you who were subscribers this summer saw the first ever bound-in CD for MacTech. Well, its going to happen again. In the January issue, well be binding in both OpenDoc and OLECDs. This issue will have articles to help explain and demonstrate these technologies to you. You can pick up this issue on the newsstand, or you can guarantee that youll get a copy if you subscribe by November 15th.
Better information. Better tools. Better support. Weve been doing a lot at the magazine to enhance our customer service and support. Starting about a year ago, we reached a level of customer service that many of you have been praising regularly. Our goal is to continue improving our support and to help you get more information about what is available out there for you - the Macintosh developer.
You can help! As you can see, weve got a lot going on at the magazine. And Ive only told you about the tip of the iceberg. We put a lot of value in what you say to us. We want you to speak up on any topic that you think is relevant - Apple, Microsoft, OpenDoc, MacTech, whatever you want. By letting us know what you think, we can group comments together and let Apple know what developers really want. And, if you want us to help by improving our support of you in some way, let us know that too!
Our goal is for you to be the most productive Macintosh developer that you can be. Were also striving to make sure that there are as many developers for the Mac as possible. In the end, the Macintosh and all of the Macintosh community will thrive and prosper. Im looking forward to our second decade!