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Online vs. Print Content: Finding the Right Mix

Fitting It Al
l into Print

There’s a vast amount of information online at Sqlmag .com: 10 years’ worth of articles published in SQL Server Magazine, hundreds of Web-exclusive articles and blog posts by authors and editors, and a large collection of posts on the forums. We know many SQL Server Magazine readers appreciate the convenience of a print publication, though, and sometimes readers ask us why in certain articles, some elements, such as listings, tables, or figures, are on the Web only and not in the print article.

A recent email letter from reader Rick Dorris provides a good example. “SQLMag has taken the practice of publishing Web listings to the extreme. Try reading \[Itzik\] Ben-Gan’s article, ‘Debunking the Myths of Temporary Objects, Part 2’ without using a computer…. It’s not like the magazine is busting at the seams and there’s no room for printing code. I’m not against having some of the code available via the Web, but in the case of Ben-Gan’s article, it wasn’t possible to understand the article at all without access to the Web listings.”

We understand the concerns of readers like Rick who want to see essential listings and other elements together in the print article. Magazine staff face a never-ending challenge of balancing the amount of content we can fit into an issue with revenue to support that content. As SQL Server Magazine editorial strategy director Karen Forster said in her response to Rick, “SQL Server Magazine is an independent publication supported by reader subscriptions and advertising. The number of pages in any issue is determined by how many ads we have in that issue. We usually have a ratio of between 30 to 40 percent ads and 60 to 70 percent editorial pages per issue. Just to give you some context, for most independent magazines, you’ll typically see a ratio of about 60 to 70 percent ads and 30 percent editorial.

“These business realities mean we editors struggle every month to provide an optimum mixture of articles and listings while also providing a variety of content to serve DBAs, DBDs, and BI readers. As a result, we are often forced to put listings and other content on the Web. I can only apologize for the inconvenience caused by such tradeoffs between the number of articles we can print and the amount of space we can dedicate to listings. It’s a struggle every month to figure out how to squeeze in all the content, but your reminders are great motivation to keep looking for ways to include as much of the code as we can.”

As you might have noticed, we launched a redesign of SQL Mag in October. One of our main goals for the redesign was so we could include more of an article’s essential elements—such as the many code examples and tables in Itzik’s articles—in print. Let us know what you think of the redesign, and keep that feedback coming to SQL Server Magazine editors, so we know how we can make your jobs easier.

Women Fitting in IT

There’s no question that women have a presence in IT, but are women still struggling with establishing themselves in a predominantly male career area? At the Women in Technology panel discussion at PASS in September 2007, none of the panelists felt they had needed to prove themselves as a woman in their jobs. (See the Get Active Online at! box for a link to Megan Bearly’s report on the panel discussion.) And reader comments on Production Editor Christan Humphries’ blog post on women in the Windows IT world (see “Can You Hear Me Roar Now?” InstantDoc ID 97461) show that the topic of “women in IT” has plenty of life, but not necessarily that women in IT face roadblocks to success. That discussion reminded me of another editor’s post on a similar topic almost three years ago, which also got plenty of reaction (see “Gender Differences in Math and Science?” InstantDoc ID 45401). Take a look at the three blog posts, then tell us what you think about women in IT.

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