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Print Is Not Just Ink Anymore

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Communications is going mobile

The world of Communications is not contained in the pages of a monthly magazine. Like other publications, Communications has expanded over time into a variety of electronic formats for e-connected members and readers. Each format delivers something its counterparts do not. Digital Editions (http://mags.acm.org/communications) present complete issues with familiar, flipable pages, but on full-screen and mobile systems. The Web site (http://cacm.acm.org) moves magazine content into HTML, and adds other articles, daily news, blogs, plus access to ACM’s abundant member services. Articles from Communications’ Virtual Extension (VE) are available from the Web site and ACM’s Digital Library (http://acm.org/dl); the print edition publishes only their summaries. Digital Editions, introduced in January 2008, have cleared the way for mobile apps and a mobile Web site, now in development, that will tailor content to handhelds. The goal of each format is to give users the content they want, where, when, and how they want it.

Communications’ brand began taking e-steps before the relaunch of the Communications Web site in April 2009. The concept of the VE, in fact, was introduced in 1996, first as a biannual collection of articles available only in e-format—a pioneering step in publishing circles back then. Originally conceived as an outlet for articles that did not fit into page-constraints of the print edition, the VE is coming into its own, having evolved as a monthly editorial fixture since September 2008. Like Communications’ other formats, it will continue to evolve, and may become a component of a digital-first publishing strategy. The VE’s status is evidenced by the readership of its most popular articles listed here, which is on par with and in some cases exceeds that of print issue cover stories. The VE is establishing itself as a destination for authors and readers.

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