MRO Magazine

Information delivery gets faster

A few of us were chatting in our office the other day about the changes we've seen in our industry - the publishing business - since MRO Magazine was launched over a quarter of a century ago. The production methods and technologies we use have...


April 1, 2011
By MRO Magazine


Industries

A few of us were chatting in our office the other day about the changes we’ve seen in our industry – the publishing business – since MRO Magazine was launched over a quarter of a century ago. The production methods and technologies we use have altered dramatically.

We talked about the original fax machines we had purchased – big, expensive units that needed special thermal paper, dot matrix printers that clattered and clacked while slowly printing out stories for proofreading, and early cell phones that were the size of a brick – and as heavy – and cost about a $1.25 a minute to use.

As we reflected on our production methods of the past couple of decades, our youngest member of staff really didn’t know what we were talking about. Scary! So much has changed since then regarding personal technology, and its impact can be seen on every business, every industry, every person. And the changes keep on coming.

We’re now entrenched in a digital era, and although we’re still producing a printed magazine and love all of its benefits, we’ve adapted to the changing needs of some of our readers by also providing our publication in a format that can be read online – on PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones and Blackberries. We’ve dropped our printed reader service card in favour of an online version that makes it faster for readers to obtain more information on the products mentioned in our issues.

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And now we’re embracing yet another technology to help make the transfer of information easier and faster.

The latest innovation can be found on this very page, and on a few select advertisements in this issue. It’s called the QR Code. We’re one of the first industrial magazines in North America to bring this technology to you.

The codes contain information in their jumble of fat pixels that, when scanned with a smartphone, will take you directly to a web page, often giving you a detailed product description or other information that simply wouldn’t fit onto a printed page. Too advanced? Well, we really don’t know anybody in business who, when they upgrade their cell phone, haven’t chosen a smartphone. It’s the future.

Smartphones let us do a lot. We’re currently working on stories about their application in maintenance operations in industry. And one other thing they’re good at is giving you fast access to information via the new QR Code.

If you have a smartphone, you can try it out right now. Use a QR Code reader (a free downloadable app) to scan the code here. It will direct you to a special page on the MRO Magazine website. It’s fast, simple and useful. Now check out the advertisers in this issue who have incorporated QR Codes into their layouts and see where their codes take you.

We see the QR Code as an evolution of our old printed reader service card. So I expect we’ve given you one more reason to justify upgrading your old cell phone. We hope many of you can benefit from this and other evolutions in the magazine business as we find faster ways to bring you the information you need.

Bill Roebuck, Editor & Associate Publisher


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