PC Magazine’s Gone Digital

Have you received your latest edition of PC Magazine? No? That’s because they went digital, supposedly as of February 2009. However, the last edition I got from them was in November, their December edition.

I had wondered why I hadn’t received anything, even though I had been privy to this notice, on a fluke though, from PC Magazine Editor-In_Chief Lance Ulanoff:

An Open letter to PC Magazine (Print) Readers,

The January 2009 issue (Volume 28, Issue 1) of PC Magazine will mark a monumental transition for the publication. It is the last printed edition of this venerable publication. Of course, as with any technology-related enterprise, this is not the end, but the beginning of something exciting and new.

Starting in February 2009, PC Magazine will become a 100-percent digital publication. So, in addition to our popular network of Websites, which includes our centerpiece, PCMag.com, as well as ExtremeTech, blogs like Gearlog and AppScout, and audio and video content that includes PCMag Radio, Cranky Geeks and DL.TV, we’ll offer PC Magazine Digital Edition to all of our print subscribers. The PC Magazine Digital Edition has actually been available since 2002. So for thousands of you, the benefits of this unique medium are already clear. And those benefits will continue to multiply in the coming months, as we work hard to enhance your digital experience. If you’d like to read the rest of the letter, you can check it out here.

Now, I understand the economy and how advertising is taking a heat across the board. What I don’t understand is why I had to read it online like this. In other words, where was the same customer service you used in sending me requests to subscribe twice a month, even after I was already a subscriber, in some kind of letter or notification that you were ending my mailed magazine subscription? And, by the way, where was my offer of refunding the balance of my payment, since you weren’t sending me something monthly anymore, or telling me that my subscription would roll over to the online service, which is now charging 62 cents an issue? Okay, that’s cheaper, but what about what I’ve already paid?

I also want my information coming in a magazine form. Not that I don’t look for news sometimes online, but let’s face this fact. PC Magazine, along with PC World, were two of my favorite magazines. I could take them anywhere and read them anywhere; car, plane, bathroom (yeah, like I’m the only one reading in the bathroom), bedroom, doctor’s offices, etc. I always have a copy of one of three magazines with me as just in case reading (the other magazine is Discover). You can’t take in all of the information from any of these magazines in a normal sitting, so having it available to carry around with you is a good deal. With PC Magazine being online now, there are a lot of things I’m just going to miss, and I don’t like that all that much.

Still, my main gripe isn’t about whether or not they should be an online periodical. My gripe is that they didn’t inform me, or the rest of society that’s subscribing to it, by regular mail in some fashion. I’m thinking they owe me some money for at least 5 or six months, but I’m not overly worried about that, as my rate was under $15 a year. There is a lot of information on their site; I just wish someone had said something. What do you think?

Shop Dog.com

12 thoughts on “PC Magazine’s Gone Digital”

  1. I read in the bathroom too Mitch, sometimes it’s the only place I can have some peace and quiet. Actually some of my best posts originate there 😉

    Seriously though, I would rather prefer an actual magazine in my hand than a digital copy. I mean, at least if you run out of toilet paper you would have something to wipe your backside with.

    Sire´s last blog post..Radio 2FU, Sire And The John Chow Confrontation

    1. Okay, I hadn’t thought of it like that. lol Still, I like to have my choice in the matter, and in this case, I didn’t, and they kept my money.

    1. No, I haven’t tried to contact them. I figure what’s the point at this juncture; at least I still have PC World.

  2. While not a subscriber to PC Magazine, I had a similar experience with Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM). I understand the print medium isn’t all that successful anymore, but I’m not much of a fan of this either.

    The fact of the matter is that I don’t need their electronic subscription because I can find most of the information they have online before they publish it. I want their print subscription because I like to look away from the computer screen sometimes, and to have something to read when I don’t have my computer around.

    So I’m with you all the way on this one Mitch. I am not a fan 🙂

    1. Thanks for the agreement, Matt. Back in the 90’s, I used to subscribe to this sci-fi magazine that suddenly went belly up, and they automatically changed my subscription to Discover Magazine, and I’ve been a fan ever since. But see, that was someone who, even while going out of business, understood what good customer service was supposed to be like.

  3. hi Mitch,
    Sorry, but I can’t resist responding to Sire’s “nugget of wisdom” above. I believe that a newspaper would work much better than a magazine for the task he suggested. 🙂
    Speaking of newspapers, we just had our weekly newspaper fold here. We’ve still got our daily… for now. I think being in the print business is tough. ~ Steve, the trade show guru

    Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Zombies

    1. Steve, which area of the country do you live in? It’s tough when your local newspaper folds; didn’t they at least have an online presence of some sort?

  4. I’m just not sure how to go about it, Dennis, and as I said, the subscription wasn’t all that expensive.

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