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perhaps they could offer two options on-line

with ads option (free)
without ads (£5 for a year on-line subscription)

I think we need to be wary of washing the print baby down the plug hole with the new and exciting virtual bathwater. Call me old fashioned, but I still rather like to read my copy of Horticulture Week sitting down, with a cup of organic Assam to hand.

I can't do that with a 'more compelling' digital version of the magazine, which makes it, for me, anything but compelling. I also find that compared with print, reading online for long periods leaves me feeling rather like a battery that's well overdue for charging.

Those who've never published on paper will always sing the praises of virtual publishing, but both have their place.

Interactivity is great, but it can also limit the participants by encouraging short, knee-jerk contributions not worth the power it takes to flash them up onto your screen - just take a look at some of the 'interaction; surrounding current environment-related topics being 'discussed' on the online versions of our broadhseets.

Speaking as a writer, doing research online is great for quickly getting an up-to-the-minute feel for a topic, and it always throws up some new leads, but to really get the grey matter engaged you need to feel the power of print in your hand (the paper, not the Kindle, sort).

And speaking of environmental concerns, an article in the latest issue of Green Futures magazine highlights that it's a misconception that virtual publishing is greener than using paper and ink. Recent research suggests that producing and reading a traditional newspaper can consume 20% less energy than reading news online for more than 30 minutes. And Google's new data centre in Oregon, which comes into action in 2011, is expected to use as much energy as the entire city of Newcastle.

Maybe there's an incentive there for Landscape Juice (and Hort Week for that matter) to consider getting some photovoltaic panels onto their respective roofs?

My understanding is that Hort Week emailed a digital version to subscribers last week in response to anticipated postal delays following the Royal Mail strike action. I took it to be a one-off gesture, not a complete roll-out of making a digital version available free of charge to all.

One of the things I miss most about living here in France is the relaxing ritual of sitting down of an evening or on Sunday morning and reading the paper.

As someone who spends a lot of his working life (now) in front of a screen, I agree that reading online is no substitute.

Books and magazines won't go away, of that I am certain, but what we will find, especially in the news hungry and fast moving Internet age, people who take news, do research and want to find fast answers will use the net.

Economically speaking, there will always be a viability line that a publishing company will settle at - the market is still in transition from traditional printing to digital and it will take time for this new market to find its feet properly.

I am certain that Hort Week will develop a strategy that works for them but I don't think that subscribers will be necessarily switching for green issues but more a case of convenience and speed.

I saw the email today that Hort Week sent out to its subscribers that confirms that the digital version is being used to ensure the magazine can be read by subscribers.

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